Physiological to Experimental Psychology: Can Consciousness Be Inspected?
The problem for astronomers is to achieve consistency in their observations because of the importance their measures have for navigating ships at sea, calibrating clocks, and studying astronomy. Finding differences in recording times between individual astronomers introduces an unwelcome element of inconsistency, but raises interesting questions for all scientists, especially for those who study the mind. For example, how can a study of objective reality be conducted at all if reality can only be known through unreliable human observations? Equally of interest and concern are questions about how and why individual differences in observation occur and if human observations can be adjusted so as to accurately measure objective reality. Astronomers attempt to solve the problem by determining a personal equation for each observer, a factor used to equate observations across individual observers. For later students of the mind, the personal equation becomes the study of individual differences in reaction time.