Skip to main content

Insight: the concept, the assessment and the label

  • Julian C. Hughes (a1)

This refreshment summarises some of the ways in which ‘insight’ has been understood in psychiatric practice and offers some critical thoughts about the notion.



Corresponding author
Correspondence Professor Julian C. Hughes, The RICE Centre, Building 8, Royal United Hospital, Combe Park, Bath BA1 3NG, UK. Email:
Hide All
Beck, AT, Baruch, E, Balter, JM, et al. (2004) A new instrument for measuring insight: the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale. Schizophrenia Research, 68: 319–29.
Cheston, R, Dodd, E, Christopher, G, et al. (2018) Selective forgetting of self-threatening statements: mnemic neglect for dementia information in people with mild dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 33: 1065–73.
David, AS (1990) Insight and psychosis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 156: 798808.
Gelder, M, Gath, D, Mayou, R (1989) Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry (2nd edn). Oxford University Press.
Jaspers, K (1913) Allgemeine Psychopathologie. Reprinted in part (1997) in English as General Psychopathology: Vol. I (trans Hoenig, J, Hamilton, MW). Johns Hopkins University Press.
Lewis, A (1934) The psychopathology of insight. Journal of Medical Psychology, 14: 332–48.
Marková, IS, Berrios, GE (1992) The meaning of insight in clinical psychiatry. British Journal of Psychiatry, 160: 850–60.
Marková, IS, Berrios, GE (2011) Awareness and insight in psychopathology: an essential distinction? Theory & Psychology, 21: 421–37.
Sims, A (1988) Symptoms in the Mind: An Introduction to Descriptive Psychopathology. Baillière-Tindall.
Van Camp, LSC, Sabbe, BGC, Oldenburg, JFE (2017) Cognitive insight: a systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 55: 1224.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 2056-4678
  • EISSN: 2056-4686
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Insight: the concept, the assessment and the label

  • Julian C. Hughes (a1)
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *