Talking to yourself has long been frowned upon as a sign of craziness, but a recent study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests talking to yourself might actually help you find lost or hidden objects more quickly than being silent.
Photo by atomicjeep.
In two separate experiments, participants were tasked with finding objects. One group had to remain silent during their search, and the other had to repeat the word to themselves. Both experiments found that people who talked to themselves found the objects quicker than those who didn’t. The theory is that when you provide the verbal labels you’re changing your ongoing perceptual processing. For instance, if you’re looking for peanut butter and you repeat the words “peanut butter” over and over you temporarily turn your visual system into a “peanut butter detector”.
The next time someone makes fun of you for talking to yourself when you’re looking for your mobile phone, shrug it off and keep on doing it because you’ll probably find it faster.
Self-directed speech affects visual search performance [The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology via Science Daily]