The “perils of introspection“ states as Mr. Watts has many times in so many words: “The microscope cannot examine itself.”:
The Misconception: You know why you like the things you like and feel the way you feel.
The Truth: The origin of certain emotional states is unavailable to you, and when pressed to explain them, you will just make something up.
Take a look at this piece of art:
It is one of the most popular pieces of art ever featured at DeviantArt.com.
Now, imagine you have to write an essay on why it is popular. Go ahead, think of a reasonable explanation. No, don’t keep reading. Give it a shot. Explain why this is a great photo.
Ok, moving on.
Is there a certain song you love, or a work of art? Perhaps there is a movie you keep returning to over the years, or book. Go ahead and imagine one of those favorite things. Now, in one sentence, try to explain why you like it. Chances are, you will find it difficult to put into words, but if pressed you will probably be able to come up with something. The problem is, according to research, your explanation is probably going to be total bullshit.