Consciousness, introspection, and subjective measures

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In recent years, the divide between conscious and unconscious perception has been the focus of a thriving research area in the science of consciousness. Subjective measures, frequently referred to as ‘introspective measures’, play a prominent role in this literature and have been the subject of intense criticism. This chapter discusses the main types of subjective measures used in current-day science of consciousness. I 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.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness
EditorsUriah Kriegel
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2020


  • Consciousness, introspection, subjective measures, subjective report, unconscious perception