Introspection illusion

#1
Magical Realist Offline
"The introspection illusion is a cognitive bias in which people wrongly think they have direct insight into the origins of their mental states, while treating others' introspections as unreliable. In certain situations, this illusion leads people to make confident but false explanations of their own behavior (called "causal theories") or inaccurate predictions of their future mental states.

The illusion has been examined in psychological experiments, and suggested as a basis for biases in how people compare themselves to others. These experiments have been interpreted as suggesting that, rather than offering direct access to the processes underlying mental states, introspection is a process of construction and inference, much as people indirectly infer others' mental states from their behavior.

When people mistake unreliable introspection for genuine self-knowledge, the result can be an illusion of superiority over other people, for example when each person thinks they are less biased and less conformist than the rest of the group. Even when experimental subjects are provided with reports of other subjects' introspections, in as detailed a form as possible, they still rate those other introspections as unreliable while treating their own as reliable. Although the hypothesis of an introspection illusion informs some psychological research, the existing evidence is arguably inadequate to decide how reliable introspection is in normal circumstances. Correction for the bias may be possible through education about the bias and its unconscious nature."===http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introspection_illusion

"[I]ntrospection does not provide a direct pipeline to nonconscious mental processes. Instead, it is best thought of as a process whereby people use the contents of consciousness to construct a personal narrative that may or may not correspond to their nonconscious states."===
Timothy D. Wilson and Elizabeth W. Dunn (2004)
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#2
C C Offline
(Oct 11, 2014 03:17 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: "[...] When people mistake unreliable introspection for genuine self-knowledge, the result can be an illusion of superiority over other people, for example when each person thinks they are less biased and less conformist than the rest of the group. Even when experimental subjects are provided with reports of other subjects' introspections, in as detailed a form as possible, they still rate those other introspections as unreliable while treating their own as reliable. [...] [I]ntrospection does not provide a direct pipeline to nonconscious mental processes. Instead, it is best thought of as a process whereby people use the contents of consciousness to construct a personal narrative that may or may not correspond to their nonconscious states."===Timothy D. Wilson and Elizabeth W. Dunn (2004)[/b]


That those private speculations about self-motives might be wrong is a heap different than phenomenal nihilists claiming that there is no internal, audible-like voice at all being exhibited that linguistically expresses / thinks those beliefs.
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#3
Yazata Offline
Human beings might well possess an innate 'theory of mind', so to speak, that aids them in making sense of the behavior not only of other humans, but of themselves as well. I suspect that's true and sometimes wonder whether there's anything inside our heads that corresponds one-to-one with an idea, for example.

But even if we agree for the sake of argument with that idea, I don't think that it necessarily means that we don't have better access to our own thought processes and motivations than we do to the thoughts and motives of others.
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