Scientific introspection and the analytical advantage of average people

When you have thoughts and feelings and drives, note them and try to understand which variables about yourself cause them. The best way to do this is to compare yourself to others, and the best way to do that is by learning where you fall within empirical distributions.

This is a rare context in which average people may enjoy an analytical advantage over “superior” people. For when they note in themselves a particular thought or feeling, they can be relatively confident that many others have similar thoughts and feelings. The introspective data of exceptional people are much less reliable for generating hypotheses or inferences about sociological phenomena.

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