Collecting Systematic, Introspective Reports of Pharmacological Effects and Side-Effects

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Sarma, Gopal P.
preprint description
The study of subjective, first-person experience is a topic with both philosophical and practical implications. In this article, I discuss the value of collecting a critical mass of prose or verbal descriptions of introspectively determined, subjective effects of pharmacological agents. I suggest that datasets of introspective reports fit in the modern research landscape at the intersection of biomedical informatics and the emerging discipline of contemplative neuroscience. I compare the current proposal to Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES), discuss relevant methodological and conceptual issues in the study of introspection, and provide a list of questions for directing future investigation.