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Should Investigators Introspect on Their Own Pain Experiences as Study Co-Participants?


Van Rysewyk, S and von Baeyer, CL, Should Investigators Introspect on Their Own Pain Experiences as Study Co-Participants?, Meanings of Pain, Springer, Van Rysewyk S (ed), Switzerland, pp. 181-194. ISBN 978-3-319-49021-2 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Springer International Publishing AG

DOI: doi:10.1007/978-3-319-49022-9_11


The question of investigators introspecting on their own personal pain experiences in pain studies has received little attention in the literature. Study of this question may reflect ethical reservations about the many points at which self-interest may lead us to introspect on personal experiences through personal biases that in turn impair professional decision-making and perception. Despite this valid concern about research co-participation, we offer three reasons why investigators can introspect on personal pain as co-participants in their own pain studies. First, there is historical precedent for investigator participation and co-participation in scientific pain research using introspection as a study method. Second, general concerns about variability in self-report based on introspection on pain experience partly derive from true fluctuations in personal pain experience and perceived interests in self-reporting pain, not simply error in its scientific measurement. Third, the availability of the experiential-phenomenological method, a mixed research method for the study of human experiences, allows investigators to co-participate with naïve participants in their own studies by encouraging passive introspection on personal pain experiences.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Philosophy of mind (excl. cognition)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Van Rysewyk, S (Mr Simon Van Rysewyk)
ID Code:115150
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-03-08
Last Modified:2017-09-28

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