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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Internal Monologue

My daughter said that her boyfriend doesn't have an internal, verbal monologue going on all the time, like I assumed (before she told me) that almost everyone does. He can think in words, if he has a particular reason to, like planning what he is going to say in an interview, but just sitting there he is not formulating sentences. I realized then that there has been scientific research, and it is true that some people don't think in words all the time, like I do. I cannot turn the stream of words off. Of course I am in literature and we are verbal people like that.

She said she was paid to be in a focus group about a film, and a few of the men seemed to have a very difficult time with formulating their thoughts in words. They probably weren't verbal thinkers.

I was doing some research, and one study said that people who were good visualizers were also good at verbal thinking, so these categories are not opposite, in the sense that good visualizers would bad at words, and vice-versa. In the same way that musicians like Miles Davis can also paint. They are complementary abilities, not opposite.

So a filmmaker or novelist would be able to write a narrative and visualize it happening as well. There aren't "right" and "left" brain thinkers.


Leslie B. said...

This is the question I had when I first acquired language and it is why, at that time, I decided to do the Ph.D. in something language related. The question was about verbal and nonverbal thought. I was acquiring verbal thought and I could see that it was a very powerful tool but that its acquisition meant a much broader range of thought and a much wider consciousness of the universe could be lost. It was clear to me that language produced thought, but also that there was non-verbal thought, and that very little of the latter could be translated into language. Verbal thought was a different universe and another ball game, I believed.

Leslie B. said...

...and yes, the idea that if you can visualize you cannot hear, etc., is silly.