Looking for Introspection; Self-Consciousness, Self-Awareness, and Emotionality
When science looks back and evaluates the relative importance of a research document, one of the yardsticks used is the amount of research and, occasionally, the manner of controversy that follows the publication. By this definition, Schachter and Singer’s (1962) study must be regarded as a classic in psychology. The paper set a course for the study of the role of cognition in emotion (e.g., Lazarus, 1968; Nowlis, 1970; Valins, 1970) and kindled a dispute that was furthered by Schachter’s (1964) subsequent conclusion that an emotional event1 occurs when an ambiguous state of physiological arousal is combined with an appropriate cognition. Based on this conclusion and a methodology relying on misdirection, misinformation, and deception, a premise was established suggesting that internal states are ambiguous and uninterpretable without appropriate context. Consequently, without context, a feeling could not be matched to an affective label. This theoretical notion implies that introspective awareness is not a viable phenomenon and is the foundation of the ensuing controversy.
KeywordsExperimental Social Psychology Camera Condition Feeling State Ideational Unit Affective Content
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