Reflection vs Introspection: Difference and Comparison

Both terms appear the same but are different as they are used according to their meaning. Reflection is looking into oneself, but that doesn’t include evaluating oneself.

Introspection is self-questioning to change ourselves and make time more productive. We can try self-questioning and assessing ourselves.

Key Takeaways

  1. Reflection involves thinking about and analyzing past experiences to gain insight and understanding.
  2. Introspection requires examining one’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations.
  3. Both processes are essential for personal growth and self-improvement.

Reflection vs Introspection 

Reflection is the process of thinking about and analyzing one’s experiences or actions in order to gain insight or understanding. Introspection is the process of examining one’s own thoughts, and motivations in order to gain self-awareness or understanding. It involves looking inward and exploring one’s own mental states.

Reflection vs Introspection

Reflection is something unique and happens when we awaken our minds and use our time.


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Trying calmness by putting ourselves off from the social shouts all over the world digital chaos, and evaluating ourselves, our thoughts, emotions, and finding the question behind them.

Examination of our thoughts in the ways it performs in keeping us motivated. When we are happy, what could be the reason for that smile of ours, and when we are angry, why do we frown?

Communication with our inner self is probably called introspection.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonReflectionIntrospection
AppearanceSomething like a mirror for usUnderstanding of our thoughts
Truth of imageOur image appears socially, which is often fakeThe real image of ours
Work doneStudy about the inner selfObservation of our mental state and analyzing them
BasicsSelf-studying ourselvesSelf-studying as well as self-evaluating
ConnectionIt is part of a reflectionIt is the reflection in a more personal and deep context.

What is Reflection?

Reflection means an examination of our conscious thoughts and our feelings.

It can be based on two contexts. According to the spiritual context, it refers to examining our soul, whereas in psychology, it means observing our mental state.

In other words, Reflection can be termed as self-reflection also. Our ability to evaluate the process of our own emotions and behaviour is called self-reflection.

The capacity of human beings to do introspection and the willingness to learn more about their nature, purpose, and essence is known as self-reflection.

Generally, self-reflection is the philosophy of consciousness. It can be called the philosophy of mind.

Through the work of William James, some other terms originate for self-reflection: “reflective awareness” and “reflective consciousness”. 

The process of Reflection includes talking to ourselves and asking various questions, and if we are not getting the answers, we should not panic; instead, we give ourselves time to search for the answers within us.

It is a type of inner search and Discovery mission. Self-awareness can be achieved by self-reflection. Here, by doing self-reflection, we are not judging ourselves or our past but reflecting light on them.

Rectifying those mistakes and maintaining this for a happy, healthy, and balanced life.


What is Introspection?

Introspection means self-observing. When we break the word introspection, we get two words: ‘ intro’, which means within and ‘spection’, which means looking. If we join both of them, introspection means looking within oneself.

It was a technique founded by a scientist. Stout said that to introspect is to systematically attend to the working of one’s mind. Another scientist said that the word introspection means looking inside ourselves.

According to the definition of introspection, an individual slides into his mental state and starts observing his mental processes.

For example, for now, we might be happy, and we could evaluate that feeling of happiness in our mind and what reasons lead us to be happy could be calculated only by us, and the same goes with sadness or anger.

Introspecting oneself means introspecting our feelings. You come to know what is going on in your mental state of mind, and your mind notices any change. There are three stages of the introspection method. Those are 

  • observing oneself 
  • analyzing oneself 
  • rectifying the flaws

Characteristics of Introspection are 

  • A person gets direct and immediate knowledge about the mind.
  • People can observe and study their minds.
  • Not considered scientific.
  • Widely used in psychological aspects.
  • Earlier widely used but now not much in fashion.

Main Differences Between Reflection and Introspection

  1. Reflection shows us the result, even if it’s our fault. It doesn’t make us feel like the culprit, whereas Introspection makes us realize that it’s our mistake, and if we had not done that, the mistake would not have occurred.
  2. Reflection is an arrangement of something, such as our thoughts, whereas Introspection refers to self-evaluating ourselves.
  3. Reflection is self-awareness, while Introspection is self-evaluation.
  4. Reflection is not much philosophical, while Introspection is more because it mends our mistakes.
  5. Reflection can’t amend our thoughts or actions, while Introspection helps us to rectify ourselves.
Difference Between Reflection and Introspection
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