When people are asked to report on their mental processes, they cannot access this unconscious activity.The idea that people can be mistaken about their inner functioning is one applied by eliminative materialists.These philosophers suggest that some concepts, including "belief" or "pain" will turn out to be quite different from what is commonly expected as science advances.The faulty guesses that people make to try and explain their thought processes have been called "causal theories".A majority of subjects failed to notice that the picture they were looking at did not match the one they had chosen just seconds before.Many subjects confabulated explanations of their preference.For example, a man might say "I preferred this one because I prefer blondes" when he had in fact pointed to the dark-haired woman, but had been handed a blonde.
A study conducted by philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel and psychologist Russell T.
Instead, it is best thought of as a process whereby people use the contents of consciousness to construct a personal narrative that may or may not correspond to their nonconscious states.
A 1977 paper by psychologists Richard Nisbett and Timothy D.
Hurlburt was set up to measure the extent of introspective accuracy by gathering introspective reports from a single individual who was given the pseudonym "Melanie".
Melanie was given a beeper which sounded at random moments, and when it did she had to note what she was currently feeling and thinking.