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ERIC Number: EJ916554
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2909
Thinking Aloud Is Not a Form of Introspection but a Qualitatively Different Methodology: Reply to Schooler (2011)
Ericsson, K. Anders; Fox, Mark C.
Psychological Bulletin, v137 n2 p351-354 Mar 2011
Schooler's (2011) commentary of our meta-analysis (Fox, Ericsson, & Best, 2011), although thoughtful and generally complimentary, misclassifies the think-aloud method as a form of introspection. Although he praised the scientific rigor of the think-aloud method, Schooler criticized its limitations as a mode of capturing the full range of conscious phenomena, especially nonverbal aspects of consciousness. He noted that reactive effects (changes in the accuracy of performance) are often observed when experimenters induce verbalization of "particularly ineffable experiences" (p. 347). In this reply, we show that thinking aloud is not introspective by establishing that it does not require inner observation or generation of descriptions and explanations. In contrast to introspective methods, thinking aloud involves only focusing on a challenging task while concurrently giving verbal expression to thoughts entering attention. Given that our meta-analysis found no significant reactivity for this type of verbalization but showed significant reactivity for instructions requesting explanations and detailed descriptions, we conclude that researchers now have a choice between 2 qualitatively distinct methodologies for studying thinking: introspective methods, which change observed performance and, by inference, task-related processes; or the think-aloud method, which changes neither. (Contains 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A