The mental benefits of talking to yourself

April 20, 2012 8:23:09 PM PDT
Do you talk to yourself? If you do, a new study suggests it could have mental benefits.

Researchers say that people who talk to themselves while searching for things may be able to find them more quickly. The findings were published online in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Adults who participated in the experiment were shown 20 pictures of different objects and were asked to find one of them. In other tests, the participants were told to find the objects again and were instructed to say the name of the object to themselves. This study revealed that people who talked to themselves were able to find the items more quickly.

A second "virtual shopping test" was done, where commonly found supermarket items were shown. When the items appeared, participants had to identify what they were. Once again, researchers found that participants were able to find objects faster if they told themselves the name of familiar objects.

The authors of the study concluded in their report that while self-directed speech does help with locating things, there is no direct evidence at the moment that self-directed affected the efficiency of the specific target.

Previous studies have suggested when children talk to themselves it guides their behavior.

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