Contemporary self-reflective practices: A large-scale survey

Acta Psychol (Amst). 2022 Oct;230:103768. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2022.103768. Epub 2022 Oct 20.


Although self-reflection is a topic that appears in Human-Computer Interaction, the empirical data on the subject can often be dated, fragmented and focused on particular use cases. Our work sought to capture data that would help us better understand the current use of technologies to support self-reflection in the broader population. We did this through a large-scale online survey with a representative sample of internet users in the United Kingdom (N = 998) and a smaller series of follow-up interviews (N = 20). We found that, regardless of recent stress, those with high scores on a scale that measured self-reflection maintained a wider variety of self-reflective activities in recent months. Men reported more access and use of technology for self-reflective activity than women, but women's self-reflection scores were usually higher. We noted that high self-reflectors appear more spontaneous and experimental, using heuristics to mitigate common barriers or adapt their practice to stressors. These individuals appear to favour analogue objects to facilitate reflective practice, utilising technology in more strategic and selective ways.

Keywords: Insight; Psychological therapy; Reflection; Self-reflection; Technology use.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United Kingdom