Sure, there's something
to be learned when we look inward to explore our attitudes, preferences, and decisions. But much of the information that introspection generates is fleeting, on-the-fly construction at a particular point in time: how we think
we feel; why we guess
we've made the choices we have. By looking inward, we don't gain access to a stable set of impressions regarding an unwavering, authentic self. We produce a temporary status report.
In other words, the gurus of self-help got it wrong. Our sense of who we are is no less context-dependent than the behaviors of everyone else around us. Book sales, Nielsen ratings, and Oprah
appearances notwithstanding, introspection just isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Taken from: Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World by Sam Sommers, Riverhead, 2011