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[in-truh-spek-shuh n] /ˌɪn trəˈspɛk ʃən/
observation or examination of one's own mental and emotional state, mental processes, etc.; the act of looking within oneself.
the tendency or disposition to do this.
1670-80; < Latin intrōspect(us), past participle of intrōspicere to look within (equivalent to intrō- intro- + spec(ere) to look + -tus past participle suffix) + -ion
Related forms
introspectional, adjective
introspectionist, noun, adjective
1. self-examination, soul-searching. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for introspectional


the examination of one's own thoughts, impressions, and feelings, esp for long periods
Derived Forms
introspectional, introspective, adjective
introspectionist, noun
introspectively, adverb
introspectiveness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin intrōspicere to look within, from intro- + specere to look
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for introspectional



1670s, noun of action from past participle stem of Latin introspicere "to look into, look at," from intro- "inward" (see intro-) + specere "to look at" (see scope (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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introspectional in Medicine

introspection in·tro·spec·tion (ĭn'trə-spěk'shən)
Contemplation of one's own thoughts, feelings, and sensations; self-examination.

in'tro·spect' v.
in'tro·spec'tion·al adj.
in'tro·spec'tive (-tĭv) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for introspectional


(from Latin introspicere, "to look within"), the process of observing the operations of one's own mind with a view to discovering the laws that govern the mind. In a dualistic philosophy, which divides the natural world (matter, including the human body) from the contents of consciousness, introspection is the chief method of psychology. Thus, it was the method of primary importance to many philosophers-including Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, and Alexander Bain-as it was to the 19th-century pioneers of experimental psychology, especially Wilhelm Wundt, Oswald Kulpe, and Edward Bradford Titchener.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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