Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the Coventry University, The Alan Turing Institute & Macmillan Education's online course, Understanding English Dictionaries. Join the course to learn more.

Introspection vs objective evidence

Introspection simply means thinking about what you know about a word.

It involves consulting your own ‘mental lexicon’ – the information about words and language which is stored in your brain.

For example, if you applied introspection to the word ‘goal’, you would probably come up with at least two meanings:

  • Where ‘goal’ means an objective or aim.

  • Where it refers to how you score points in football and other sports.

Your task

How many meanings can you think of for the word ‘party’? What are those meanings? You can give an example, if you like, to explain a meaning you’ve thought of. Which did you think of first, and which one do you think is the most important?

Only focus on the noun use of ‘party’ (forget about the verb), and don’t look at a dictionary. Don’t forget to make notes of your answers.

When you’ve finished, continue on to the next step which shows several people trying a similar activity.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Understanding English Dictionaries

Coventry University