Inner Monologue and IQ (Are They Related?)
There is a connection between a person’s inner monologue and intelligence. It is more likely for adults with developed verbal skills and a higher IQ to have a wordier inner voice than children with less language development and lower IQ.
However, some people access their internal monologue visually rather than audibly.
For instance, it is likely that you can either “see” or “hear” your inner voice narrating this text as you read it.
One of the critical aspects of our mental processes is inner speech, or the silent production of words or images in our minds.
It is connected to many psychological processes, including planning, remembering, self-motivation, reading, and writing.
While some people, according to studies, spend at least 50% of their lives talking to themselves, others are said to have no inner voice at all.
This raises an important question: Does this imply that those without internal dialogues are less intelligent?
If you don’t “hear” your inner voice as an adult, this does not mean you are less intelligent.
Continue reading to discover the correlation between inner monologue and intelligence.
What is an inner monologue?
The inner monologue, also referred to as internal speech, is a voice you hear in your head. It happens because of specific brain processes that cause you to listen to your own voice even when you’re not speaking. It’s typical to have this “small voice in your brain,” but not everyone has it.
Your inner voice may be both your best friend and your worst enemy. It can be used for various things, including giving advice, assisting with directions, practicing difficult talks, and much more.
You can use an inner speech while rehearsing for a play or a job interview by speaking words in your head.
Though it often provides some benefits, there are some drawbacks as well. For instance, reading while engaging in inner monologue can slow you down. It is commonly referred to as subvocalization in slow readers.
Children can improve their reading skills by reading aloud to their teachers, for instance. When they become fluent, they begin speaking the words inside their minds.
However, reading does not require interior monologue. Your reading comprehension won’t improve by mouthing every word that comes to mind. Even without the internal dialogue, your brain can process the information you read.
An inner monologue is similar to having an inner voice that talks to you all day long.
When thinking, those who have inner monologues hear sentences in their thoughts. However, others have abstract, non-verbal thinking.
What do people do if they aren’t constantly talking to themselves?
Psychology professor Russell Hurlburt has identified five categories of inner experiences based on his years of research into how people’s minds function:
- Inner speaking – which can take many different forms
- Inner seeing – which can include images of things you’ve seen in real life or imagined visions
- Feelings – such as anger or happiness
- Sense of touch – like recognizing the scratchiness of the carpet at the bottom of your feet
- Unsymbolized thinking process – which is a trickier concept to grasp but is nonetheless real
But there is also room for variety within those groups. Let’s take the example of inner speech, which might take the form of a word, a phrase, a monologue of some sort, or even a discussion.
Anyone who has replayed a crucial discussion or an argument in their head will be familiar with the concept of an internal dialogue rather than a monologue. However, the voice we hear within our heads is frequently an alternate version of ourselves and not someone else.
How prevalent is internal dialogue?
Some people have never had an inner monologue. According to Russell Hurlburt, 30 to 50% of people have an inner voice.
Interestingly, children as young as 5 to 7 can use an inner voice, while other studies indicate that children as young as 18 to 21 months may use some inner phonetics.
However, the majority of individuals think inner speaking doesn’t happen passively. It is something you intentionally do.
Hurlburt designed and filed for a patent on a device that beeped at unpredictable intervals. He instructed participants to record notes on their own experience at each beeper sound.
The beepers would sound randomly while students went about their daily activities. They were told to try to explain what was going through their heads at the time.
The beepers sounded at different intervals. This was done on purpose so that the psychological research participants would forget about them (and thus, not contaminate their thinking processes with thoughts about the experiment).
After the beepers sounded, researchers quizzed the students to understand their thoughts better. Were they creating a mental image? Having a tactile experience? Having a feeling? The name of this research method is called descriptive experience sampling (DES).
One important lesson learned, in his opinion, was that “you can’t expect a good answer on the first day.” Basically, it takes people a day or two of DES training before they learn how to concentrate on and describe what they’re feeling at any particular time.
In his study, he discovered that most participants had trouble expressing how they were speaking to themselves. Many of them could not recall specific words or sentences when he asked them for them.
Some participants in the study had no inner voice for three days.
Others said that 75% of the sounds were internal dialogue. The study included 30 people, and an average of 23% of the beeps elicited inner speech. This does not imply that people speak to themselves only 23% of the time.
What is the basis for inner monologue in science?
Why does one speak internally?
Mark Scott, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, discovered that we emit a brain signal known as “corollary discharge” that aids in separating internal sensory information from external stimuli.
This signal is crucial for internal speech. It also affects how our auditory systems process speech. When we speak, a duplicate of our voice is produced internally at the same time as our speaking voice.
We speak a lot, which might overwhelm our auditory system, preventing us from hearing other sounds. Our hearing can be kept open to other sounds by employing the “corollary discharge” prediction to reduce our own speech’s impact.
According to Scott, corollary discharge can make an internal duplicate of our voice even when there is no external sound, which would suggest that the sound we hear when we speak in our thoughts is actually an internal prediction of the sound of our own voice.
He proposed that corollary discharge does, in fact, underpin our perceptions of an inner voice.
The sensory data from the external environment ought to be cancelled out by the internal copy made by our brains if the two data sets match, much like when we try to tickle ourselves. This signal also explains why your voice sounds different inside and on a recording.
Everyone has corollary discharge, yet not everyone has inner dialogues. This is a common occurrence. In reality, it performs a crucial function in your auditory system, aiding in the processing of hearing speech.
However, occasionally engaging in an internal monologue can be quite helpful. You might talk to yourself internally when attempting to arrange your thoughts and block out any outside noise.
You could find it beneficial to visualize scenes, ask yourself questions, and attempt to find precise answers.
What is IQ?
The term “intellectual quotient,” or IQ, refers to a person’s capacity for reasoning. In other words, it’s meant to determine how well a person can apply knowledge and reason to provide answers or build predictions.
Measurement of short- and long-term memory is how IQ tests start to evaluate this. They also assess how quickly and accurately people can recall knowledge from lectures and solve problems.
Typically, when we use the term intelligence, we are referring to cognitive or academic intelligence. The following mental abilities are considered to be examples of cognitive ability:
- Information retrieval and archiving
- Abstract thought
- Complex-thought processes
- Studying past experience
There are numerous kinds of IQ tests, and a normal one will last one to two hours and entail answering various multiple-choice questions. The median IQ score is then calculated by adding the findings and adjusting it for location and age.
Although test results can differ, they usually range from 85 to 115, showing average cognitive capacity.
What is the connection between inner speech and intelligence?
Your ability to effectively link different thought forms underlies your decisions.
The extent to which individuals need to use inner speech is primarily influenced by their experiences, physical development (age), and IQ. You are more adept at applying the ideas without the aid of language the more complex your thought structures are.
People utilize inner speech to make connections when thought forms aren’t well defined.
This is another way of saying that when conceptions are lacking or need to be refined, a person can benefit more from using inner speech.
It’s also important to note that as IQ increases, a person becomes less dependent on inner workings to support cognitive functions.
Language is vital for the growth of our thoughts and ideas. It enables us to expand and strengthen our knowledge and create new connections between disparate concepts.
This is another reason our teachers made us do oral presentations so frequently in class: talking about and reinforcing what we already know helps us do so.
Piaget and Vygotsky both identified this characteristic in young children and the elderly, who have either a declining cognitive profile or a developing one.
Being unable to talk would prevent them from participating, but speaking out permits them to do so.
For instance, older people utilize self-talk to motivate them to do certain chores. They will think to themselves, “I believe I’ll take a tea,” as if it were necessary to express it aloud.
This implies that an inner voice is a more advanced form of self-talk. It enables an internal discourse to interact with the outside environment.
And as you probably have guessed, non-verbal thought is the next level up, where a person can think in complete conceptions or thought forms.
Do people with inner voices have a higher IQ?
An inner monologue is not always indicative of a higher IQ. For example, a person who excels in math but struggles to express themselves verbally may not have a strong inner narrator but instead “see” ideas rather than “hear” them.
The idea of cognitive development put forward by Vygotsky says that inner speech results from a developmental process. According to Vygotsky, one must comprehend how it develops over time to grasp a phenomenon’s subjective features and functional traits.
In Vygotsky’s approach, linguistically mediated social interactions (such as those between a child and a caregiver) are changed into an internalized “conversation” with the self via internalization.
The process through which kids learn to control their behavior using language and other sign systems is thought to be the development of verbal mediation.
When children talk to themselves while working on a cognitive activity, a phenomenon now known as private speech, Vygotsky recognized evidence supporting his idea.
According to his theory, private speech is a stage of internalization. Interpersonal talks are still partially converted into intrapersonal dialogues.
Vygotsky believes that private communication plays a significant part in how children increasingly assume more strategic control over tasks that had previously required the assistance of an expert outsider (such as a caregiver).
Although there are significant individual disparities in the quantity and caliber of one’s self-talk, most studies indicate that private speech is a nearly universal characteristic of development.
Additionally, it is now understood that private speech can continue throughout adulthood as an adequate self-control and motivational tool rather than diminishing after internalization is complete.
Does internal monologue function as a memory aid?
Your working memory can be supported by internal speech. As you may “play” what you intend to say in your head in advance, it helps you better prepare for a speech or presentation.
You can repeat instructions in your head using inner speech, ensuring that you never stray from your course.
There is also evidence that most people elicit auditory imagery for speech when reading and that it preserves some of the characteristics of external, audible speech.
For instance, Alexander and Nygaard invited participants to read phrases that appeared to have been written by the people whose voices they had heard after playing a dialogue between two voices with contrasting speaking rates (one fast, one slow).
When reading simple texts aloud, the slow voice’s “written” parts tended to be read more slowly than the quick voice’s; reading silently revealed no voice effect.
However, reading aloud and silently revealed that more challenging texts were read to the same speech rate that had previously been heard.
The voice effect on silent reading was only present for complex texts for those who self-reported low imagery abilities, whereas for those who self-reported excellent imagery skills, the effect was present for both easy and difficult text parts.
Thus, more complex situations seem to trigger inner-speech, like reading experiences as a supplemental aid, but for some people, this feeling will linger even during simple reading.
Takeaway: Inner monologue doesn’t equal high IQ
Many people frequently experience inner monologue. You have it too, if you catch yourself chatting to yourself or hearing your own voice while reading.
However, if you don’t have it, it just means that you “see” ideas rather than “hear” them, which does not imply that you are less intellectual.
Additionally, being critical of yourself internally is beneficial because it can help you perform at your best. It enables you to improve your capacity for problem-solving, introspection, and critical thought.
When you enroll in an Iris Reading course, it gets even better. Iris Reading’s Personal Productivity course will assist you in achieving your highest performance at work or at home with its numerous top-notch instructional videos. Why not take advice from a pro?