How something can be said about telling more than we can know: On choice blindness and introspection

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Abstract

The legacy of Nisbett and Wilson's classic article, Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes (1977), is mixed. It is perhaps the most cited article in the recent history of consciousness studies, yet no empirical research program currently exists that continues the work presented in the article. To remedy this, we have introduced an experimental paradigm we call choice blindness [Johansson, P., Hall, L., Sikstrom, S., & Olsson, A. (2005). Failure to detect mismatches between intention and outcome in a simple decision task. Science, 310(5745), 116-119.]. In the choice blindness paradigm participants fail to notice mismatches between their intended choice and the outcome they are presented with, while nevertheless offering introspectively derived reasons for why they chose the way they did. In this article, we use word-frequency and latent semantic analysis (LSA) to investigate a corpus of introspective reports collected within the choice blindness paradigm. We contrast the introspective reasons given in non-manipulated vs. manipulated trials, but find very few differences between these two groups of reports. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
  • Learning
  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

Keywords

  • Latent Semantic Analysis, verbal report, blindness, change, word-frequency analysis, choice blindness, introspection, confabulation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-692
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Volume15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes