Abstract

Reflection is a fuzzy concept. In this article we reveal the paradoxes involved in studying the nature of reflection. Whereas some scholars emphasize its discursive nature, we go further and underline its resemblance to the self-biased dialogue Socrates had with the slave in Plato’s Meno. The individual and internal nature of the reflection process creates difficulty for studying it validly and reliably. We focus on methodological issues and use Hans Linschoten’s view of coupled systems to identify, analyze, and interpret empirical research on reflection. We argue that researchers and research participants can take on roles in several possible system couplings. Depending on who controls the manipulation of the stimulus, who controls the measuring instrument, who interprets the measurement and the response, different types of research questions can be answered. We conclude that reflection may be validly studied by combining different couplings of experimenter, manipulation, stimulus, participant, measurement, and response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-814
Number of pages22
JournalTheory & Psychology
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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Slaves
Empirical Research
Research
Research Personnel
Manipulation
Stimulus
Socrates
Resemblance
Fuzzy
Meno
Paradox
Discursive
Experimenter

Keywords

  • Coupled system
  • Linschoten
  • reflection
  • reflective practice
  • Socratic dialogue
  • PRIVATE SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS
  • REFLEXIVITY
  • PSYCHOLOGY
  • EXPERIENCE
  • INSIGHT
  • BRAIN
  • MODEL

Cite this

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title = "Reflection: A Socratic approach",
abstract = "Reflection is a fuzzy concept. In this article we reveal the paradoxes involved in studying the nature of reflection. Whereas some scholars emphasize its discursive nature, we go further and underline its resemblance to the self-biased dialogue Socrates had with the slave in Plato’s Meno. The individual and internal nature of the reflection process creates difficulty for studying it validly and reliably. We focus on methodological issues and use Hans Linschoten’s view of coupled systems to identify, analyze, and interpret empirical research on reflection. We argue that researchers and research participants can take on roles in several possible system couplings. Depending on who controls the manipulation of the stimulus, who controls the measuring instrument, who interprets the measurement and the response, different types of research questions can be answered. We conclude that reflection may be validly studied by combining different couplings of experimenter, manipulation, stimulus, participant, measurement, and response.",
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Reflection: A Socratic approach. / Van Seggelen-Damen, Inge; Van Hezewijk, René; Helsdingen, Anne; Wopereis, Iwan.

In: Theory & Psychology, Vol. 27, No. 6, 12.2017, p. 793-814.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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