Self-Perception Theory, Radical Behaviourism, and the Publicity/Privacy Issue

Self-Perception Theory, Radical Behaviourism, and the Publicity/Privacy Issue According to Bem’s self-perception theory, people know their own minds in the same way that they know those of others: they infer their own minds by observing their own behavior and the circumstances in which this behavior takes place. Although Bem’s theory seems anti-introspectionistic, it claims that people infer their minds by observing their own behavior only when internal cues are weak, ambiguous, or un-interpretable. This has led some to argue that Bem does not rule out a priori introspective access to the mind and thus introspection as a research method. This paper will discuss self-perception theory and its influence over recent research and will argue that introspection is not an autonomous research method. This is so because of its radical behavioristic outlook, according to which all methods and data of psychology must be public and not private. Then, the paper will discuss the epistemological implications of this behavioristic attitude on psychology. Finally, it will argue in favor of introspection as an autonomous research method and an independent source of data for psychology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Philosophy and Psychology Springer Journals

Self-Perception Theory, Radical Behaviourism, and the Publicity/Privacy Issue

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy of Mind; Cognitive Psychology; Neurosciences; Epistemology; Developmental Psychology; Philosophy of Science
ISSN
1878-5158
eISSN
1878-5166
D.O.I.
10.1007/s13164-017-0378-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

According to Bem’s self-perception theory, people know their own minds in the same way that they know those of others: they infer their own minds by observing their own behavior and the circumstances in which this behavior takes place. Although Bem’s theory seems anti-introspectionistic, it claims that people infer their minds by observing their own behavior only when internal cues are weak, ambiguous, or un-interpretable. This has led some to argue that Bem does not rule out a priori introspective access to the mind and thus introspection as a research method. This paper will discuss self-perception theory and its influence over recent research and will argue that introspection is not an autonomous research method. This is so because of its radical behavioristic outlook, according to which all methods and data of psychology must be public and not private. Then, the paper will discuss the epistemological implications of this behavioristic attitude on psychology. Finally, it will argue in favor of introspection as an autonomous research method and an independent source of data for psychology.

Journal

Review of Philosophy and PsychologySpringer Journals

Published: Dec 30, 2017

References

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