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Thu, 31 Jan


Room G2

Maja Spener (Birmingham) Subjective measures of consciousness, response bias, and introspection

Time & Location

31 Jan 2019, 16:00 – 18:00

Room G2, Senate House, London WC1B, UK


I will discuss the main types of so-called ’subjective measures of consciousness’ used in current-day science of consciousness and explain the key worry about such measures, namely the problem of a putatively ever-present response bias. I then turn to the question of whether subjective measures of consciousness are introspective. I show that there is no clear answer to this question, as proponents of subjective measures do not employ a worked-out notion of subjective access. In turn, as I explain, this makes the problem of response bias less tractable than it might otherwise be. I contrast this problem with an older problem for introspective methods, raised by August Comte and discussed by the early experimental psychologists. I will outline some of their solutions, which in turn can be usefully applied to the problem of response bias for subjective measures.

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