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Valid and Non-Reactive Verbalization of Thoughts During Performance of Tasks Towards a Solution to the Central Problems of Introspection as a Source of Scientific Data

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Recent proposals for a return to introspective methods make it necessary to review the central problems that led psychologists to abandon those methods as sources of scientific data in the early twentieth century. These problems and other related challenges to verbal reports collected during the cognitive revolution during the 1960s and 1970s were discussed in Ericsson and Simon's (1980; 1993) proposal for a theoretically motivated procedure to elicit valid and non- reactive concurrent verbalization of thoughts while subjects were performing tasks. The same proposal explains why other verbal reports, such as introspections, detailed descriptions or explanations, require additional cognitive activity that often leads to reactivity and invalid reports. Finally, a new proposal is sketched for how the generation of introspective reports might be incorporated within a framework for non-reactive and valid verbalization of thoughts.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306-1270, USA., Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2003


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