Do you often find yourself muttering self-motivating advice when alone? How about reciting what you read aloud, or perhaps reminding yourself of your daily tasks? If so, don’t be so quick to label yourself as a “crazy-minded individual”. In fact, published research has confirmed that individuals who partake in self-talk, are deemed to possess a greater intelligence level than those who don’t participate.
Remembering where you put your car keys
In a study published in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, psychologists Gary Lupyan and Daniel Swingley conducted a series of experiments to discover if talking to oneself enhanced an individual’s performance when searching for objects. During one trial, individuals were instructed to search for an object while muttering the name of the item to themselves. The result of these differing trials was that individuals who used self-talking methods discovered objects more easily and quickly.
During a follow-up experiment, participants virtually observed items that were commonly found within a supermarket. Then, it was required that they search for the item in the physical world. Some participants were required to repeat the item name aloud, to determine if that would benefit their results. Results indicated that there was an advantage and shorter completion time when searching for the object.
High cognitive functioning is an asset that these individuals acquire. Speaking to oneself helps the brain prepare for better recognition of the observed item. It enhances the brain’s memory centers.
Published by the New York Times, additional research conducted by scientists at Bangor University discovered that speaking aloud to oneself demonstrates a great level of intelligence. Participants were required to read a list of instructions aloud and silently. After analyzing and measuring performance levels, researchers concluded that people are more concentrated and absorbed when reading aloud.
The study’s co-author, Dr. Paloma Mari-Beffa, explains that the benefits arise simply from participants “hearing” themselves. Auditory commands are better manipulators of behavior than written ones. Dr. Mari-Beffa emphasizes that self-talk is helpful when concerning our emotions and organizing our thoughts and memories.
Another positive effect published in digital journal Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences revealed that self-talk, including motivational comments in the second and third person, allows an individual to experience less anxiety while performing, while their peers rate their performances more positively.
The next time you detect yourself whispering daily reminders and goals, remind yourself that it is simply a sign of intelligence!
Gary Lupyan, Daniel Swingley. Self-directed speech affects visual search performance. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2011; 1 DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2011.647039