From ArticleWorld

Introspection is the examination of one’s thinking and emotions as they occur in an effort in know oneself. For some, it is a reliable guide to self knowledge and it was the first system used in the beginning of scientific psychology by Wundt . It was the preferred method of many psychologists in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The beginning of scientific psychology

The era of psychology as a science began when Wilhelm Wundt established a laboratory in Germany in 1897 with the aim of studying psychology systematically under controlled conditions.Until then, philosophical introspection constituted the study of the mind but it was not done scientifically. Wundt was dissatisfied with the methods involved and so set up a more experimental approach, where observation was made by trained personnel under controlled conditions where he could consider self-observation as a scientific fact. Introspection was used widely simply because there was no other definition of scientific psychology at the time.


Introspection continued to be used because of the championship of E.B Titchener who had studied under Wundt. Until his death in 1927, he used introspection as a way of studying the mind and renamed his technique ‘structuralism’. His goal was to identify the elemental contents of the mind and to produce a catalogue of mental elements. He differed from his teacher in that he looked more into the processes rather than the immediate experience.

Both Wundt and Titchener were believed by many to maintain that emotions and feelings were the key to the workings of the mind although it was later felt that their theories went much deeper than that.