Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Students Who Talk to Themselves Aren’t Crazy. They’re Methodical.

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Methodical Students

Talking to yourself isn’t just normal, it’s downright helpful.

You’ve probably caught yourself doing it lately: Letting your inner monologue out of the cage for a minute. Maybe you were sorting through your to-do list, or recapping something you just read to process it.

No matter the reason, don’t be ashamed. Talking to yourself isn’t just normal, it’s downright helpful.

Dr. Alain Morin of Mount Royal University has done extensive research on the topic, and teaches classes in social cognition and theories of personality. In his paper titled Inner Speech, he states “Fundamental human activities such as setting immediate and distant goals, problem-solving, planning, and decision-making, are all part of a more global capacity called self-regulation.”

“Private speech in children and inner speech in adults have been shown to be of critical importance for effective self-regulation.”

Morin also said that 97% of people admit to talking to themselves, in one form or another. His recent study of more than 70 undergraduate students, shows that students most often chat with themselves while managing tasks, solving problems, making decisions or motivating themselves.

His research also explores the use of talking to oneself while performing memory-centred tasks like studying.

“Inner speech plays an important role in memory functions, particularly in working memory. Working memory allows one to keep a small quantity of information in an active state for a short period of time,“ said Morin, in Inner Speech (pdf).

So go ahead, chat yourself up. Just don’t argue with yourself in public place. That’s crazy.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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