Review Essay: Dialogic Introspection: Extending the Range of Empirical Research Methods through the Rediscovery of the Method of Introspection

Jenny Weggen


The book "Dialogic Introspection. A Group-based Method to Explore Personal Experience by Self-observation" describes the rediscovery and development of an almost forgotten qualitative method in the empirical toolbox of psychology and the social sciences. The Hamburger Forschungswerkstatt [Hamburg Group for qualitative-heuristic social research] chaired by Thomas BURKART, Gerhard KLEINING and Harald WITT revives the method of introspection, and further systematizes and develops it based on new findings from empirical research. The editors and further contributors present a wide variety of application and analysis examples and explain, in a very clear and understandable manner, the advantages and limitations of the method as well as its historical derivation. They also provide a detailed guideline of how to use dialogic introspection, inviting the reader to try it out. Moreover, the various contributions refer to concrete fields of application—including psychotherapy, pedagogics and organizational consulting—offering a glimpse into the richness of the method. The method of dialogic introspection promises to expand the range of empirical methods substantially. It is ideal for collecting and analyzing data providing information about experience—a key concept for understanding the central issues in psychology and sociology. To date, the concept of experience has received little attention in psychological and sociological research.



qualitative methodology; heuristics; introspection; experience; group experiments


Copyright (c) 2011 Jenny Weggen

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