Why You Should Talk to Yourself

Talking to yourself is a good way to reason through problems, so there’s no reason to feel awkward about your big debates you have with yourself while walking down the street. At least according to some new research from a few universities.

This new research in questions stems from Talk­ing Aloud Part­ner Problem-Solving (TAPPS) which is meant to help people reason through problems while a person just listens. It turns out that the partner’s role is negligible.

In recent research on TAPPS, reported in the Uni­ver­sity of Arkansas pub­li­ca­tion Research Foun­da­tions, Spring 2011, the author noted that the increased speed and effec­tive­ness of part­ner problem-solving has lit­tle to do with the mon­i­tor and much to do with the prob­lem solver’s own behav­ior; think­ing aloud or TA. The con­stant ver­bal­iza­tion of their thoughts out loud encour­aged the prob­lem solvers to con­tin­u­ously cor­rect faulty steps in logic. The causal mech­a­nism of suc­cess was the problem-solver’s metacognition.

Another study on talk­ing aloud reported in the jour­nal Aging, Neu­ropsy­chol­ogy, and Cog­ni­tion car­ries the intrigu­ing title, “How to Gain Eleven IQ Points in Ten Min­utes: Think­ing Aloud Improves Raven’s Matri­ces Per­for­mance in Older Adult.” At the end of the arti­cle, fol­low­ing the usual iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of study lim­i­ta­tions, the authors stated, “Nonethe­less, these stud­ies pro­vide some evi­dence that indi­vid­u­als with lower fluid abil­ity (e.g., chil­dren and older adults) may ben­e­fit most from con­cur­rent verbalization.”

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