From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Internal monologue, also known as inner voice, internal speech, or stream of consciousness is thinking in words. It also refers to the semi-constant internal monologue one has with oneself at a conscious or semi-conscious level.
Much of what people consciously report "thinking about" may be thought of as an internal monologue, a conversation with oneself. Some of this can be considered as speech rehearsal, and it seems to be that the internal monologue is generally in the native language of the person concerned.
An internal monologue may be consciously used in order to organize thoughts to solve problems or keep track of a long list. More mysterious is subconscious internal monologue, which is thought to be used in long term memory and dreams.
In fiction, when one person reads the mind of another, it is often described as being able to hear this internal monologue as if it were said out loud.
When children are taught to read out loud and then later taught to read quietly, they often subvocalize. This has led to a discipline called Speed reading that attempts to suppress this.
There is uncertainty about what the source of these internal sentences are in some conditions. Attribution for a recently produced internal sentence may lead to concerns over schizophrenia, hallucinations, or hearing voices.
Contemplation attempts to calm the internal voice by various means.
- Talk aloud protocol
- Cognitive linguistics
- Philosophy of mind
- William James
- Visual thinking
- Human self-reflection
- Stream of consciousness writing
- Language of thought
- Language and thought