Your inner voice.
How talking to yourself makes you smarter.
The Voice of Reason. Robson. (2010)
I was initially attracted to this edition of the New Scientist as the cover story offered to shed light on the value (or otherwise) of what some term ‘stream of consciousness’ others ‘this voice in our heads.’ Of what value is it? And if I can type as fast as I can think it is this a true reflection of what I am thinking, at the pace at which I am thinking it – or does the process lose something in translation? Using how we think and what we verbalise is given value here, which ought to bolster the views of H.E. institutions that ‘reflection’ has a purpose. The article also explains why we need to give things terms, though I’m also always curious to know why certain words last while others do not. If I’ve understood the ideas correctly then there is a suggestion that loose terminology, words for concepts that are not clear or still debated, are counter-productive, we need to be clear that our interpretation of a word, even something as simple as the colour yellow compared to orange, or hues of the colour blue, match the understanding that others have.
‘On average, 70 per cent of our total verbal experience is in our head.’ Boroditsky (2010)
Language helps us to think and perceive the world.
Naming objects helps us categorise and memorise them. Lupyan (2010)
i.e. things (concepts and objects) are more easily thought about if ‘verbalised’ through having a name.
However, labelling can also bury the detail. Lupyan (2010)
i.e. we humans work best at the macro rather than the micro level of terminology?
‘Labelling objects helps our minds build a prototype of the typical object in the group at the expense of individual features.’
Language shapes perception, argues Gabriella Vigliocca of University College London. Vigliocca. (2010)
The pumpkin test. 80% got the object from seeing it alone. 85 % of those who saw it and were told its name got it. While those who had what they could see in one eye ‘scrambled’ only achieved 75% suggesting that a visual with a verbal clue helps to anchor the object in the mind.
‘It seems that words prime the visual systems of our brain, conjuring up a mental image when it is seen’. Vigliocca (2010:32)
Boroditsky (2010b) recently found that Russian speakers, who have two words for different shades of blue, really are faster at discriminating between the different shades than English speakers. (The once discredited Whorfian hypothesis). The effect disappeared when they repeated a long number to themselves, as this interfered with their linguistic capacities.
Fundamentally, knowing the name for something helps identify it. Lupyan (2010)
‘It seems that our inner voice changes the way we experience the world. Language is like augmented reality – an overlay that changes how we think, reason and see’. Clark (2010:33)
With the above in mind I started the following list with a view to developing reasons for not using the word ‘stakeholder.’ With no end of this list in sight I may need to change my opinion, I may not like the word, but it works. But does it? Whilst ‘stockbroker’ I can see embodies a specific group of people, ‘stakeholder’ for shifts constantly, like a cloud forming under a summer sun.
- shop floor worker
‘Up to 80% of our mental experiences appear to be verbal rather than visual or emotional.’ Hurburt (2010) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
‘It’s like a guidebook that has been developed by thousands of people before you, who have figured out what is important for to survive and adapt to our environment.’ Clark (2010)
Do you work with the radio on or off?
With the TV on or off? Or in an Open Plan office? Do you prefer a library or study? Can you work as you commute? Or on holiday?
Based on what we have learnt above what impact might this have on what you are thinking?
Does it depend on how easily distracted you are, how focussed? Work (study) in an environment that is relevant to the task and this enhances it whereas work (study) where verbal noise is a constant distraction and you cannot (or could not) work so well?
Clark, A (2010) Language and Cognition, University of Edinburgh. Interview for New Scientist. 2776 (4 Sept 2010)
Boroditsky, L (2010a) Interview for New Scientist. 2776 (4 Sept 2010)
Boroditsky, L (2010b) Quoted in the New Scientist. 2776 (4 Sept 2010) from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol 104, p7780
Hurburt, R (2010) Quoted in the New Scientist. 2776 (4 Sept 2010) from Psychological Medicine, vol 24 p385.
Lupyan, G (2010) Quoted in New Scientist. 2776 (4 Sept 2010) from Psychological Science, Vol 18, p1077.
Lupyan, G (2010) Quoted in New Scientist. 2776 (4 Sept 2010) from Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, vol 137, p348.
Robson, D. The Voice of Reason. pp30-33 Cover Story. New Scientist. 2776 (4 Sept 2010).
Vigliocca, G (2010) Quoted in New Scientist. 2776 (4 Sept 2010) from Psychological Science, vol 18, p1007.
Parts 1 & 2 v.good. I like the writing style. vs Reflection seems a bit of a rant (My wife, 2010, this afternoon)
Me rant! Whenever?
This is the most tender exchange my wife and I have had in two years. She lives in another room in the house, rarely to leave, where at great expense to the pharmaceutical community she turns interviews with medical experts (in French and English) into multipage, overly quoted, qualitative reports which make an OU ECA look like a kindergarten doodle.
(A decade into this she is a better pharmacist and GP than our local ... pharmacist or GP. She has vetted and reviewed everything well ahead of it being issued. Which may explain why I have yet to die from asthma. I'm always pumped up with the latest best thing(s)
In an hour I'm poolside coaching Britian's future Olympian swimmers for the next few hours (think Rio in 2016 and beyond, some of them have only just turned 9).
I have a mindmap - hideous term, hateful concept, but when I've done one for a TMA and stuck to it the (bleep, bleep, bleep) things seem to provide structure for my unstructured way of thinking.
800 words of reflection.
Could I say it four ?
'Been there, done that?'
or a few more ...
'Been there, done that, enjoyed the learning journey, up for more.'
Not really worth 20% of the marks.
Meanwhile an eventful day in other ways, prioritise as you see fit:
A statue of Tom Paine was revealed in Lewes (where we live). It is July 4th. He had something to do with the 'Rights of Man.' (Or the rights of one man, him ...) as he was pissing off everyone in Sussex when he jumped ship to the Americas.
I found four baby guinea-pigs in the hutch that has been my responsibility to clean out for the last decade. Daughter just 14 couldn't give a monkeys, though 'til two years ago she adored them. I have called them: 'E,' 'C,' & 'A,' and 'H807.' As the children are finally beyond naming them. Though my son, now 12, did call them 'bite-sized.' Our dog, who has come to replace the G-Ps in our affections, is tender ... she was introduced to guinea-pigs as puppy and just about understands that they are neither small tennis balls or food. We have had some wonderful adventures with out pigs these last ... 12 years.
We haven't had rain for 17 years (or is that days, or weeks) so I felt I had to water the garden. This is having had rain from October 13th 2009 to March 11th without a break).
The papers are declaring it the worst lack of rain in the the first six months of a year since ... well, since the last time this happened in 1992, 1998 and 1976. I have been attempting to syphon water out of the bath into the garden as I did in 1976 age 13 ... and face the same problem. Gagging as the stuff reaches my mouth and finding the lip over the windowsill is impossible to overcome. Do I buy a pump?
My brain is yours for £ and $.
Oh, and a nine year old headache from my late father's estate that suggests I may be taken to court in France. The joke is the letter was sent by recorded delivery that requires a signature is unintelligible to our Postie so he just put it through our letter box. My wife suggests we could (and should) ignore it. Why when I write to France I do so in French ... while the French when they write to English speaking countries do so ... in French?
Not for now
800 words is probably harder to write than 2,000.
And what is reflection anyhow?
Not a rant, not 'stream of consciouness.'
A grovel for marks.
But no one reads these things anyway.
Lurkers please say 'Hi'.
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