Do you have an inner monologue? Some don't.

autoferrit profile image Shawn McElroy ・1 min read

Today I learned... That some people don't have an inner monologue. Where you essentially talk to yourself in your own head, hearing your own voice, without physically verbalizing. And that some cannot do that.

I am totally surprised. I thought everyone could do that. But apparently many don't.

What I want to know, is for those that don't, how do you work out programming problems? How do you plan to write things before writing them? As I write this, I am just thinking the words in my head as if I was speaking them out loud. But I am not verbalizing.

I have a conversation with myself in my head about what to write. Or what my code is doing, or anything else.

It seems that those that don't, think in more abstract thoughts and have to verbalize them.

But I want to know more about this from others. Do you have one? Do you not? If not how do you deal with planning, reading, writing, or problem solving in your head.

I would love to hear. Or from those that know more about the topic.

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Shawn McElroy


I am a product engineer and have helped build software from small startups, to manipulating hundreds of millions of data points. I write API's and make tools that make developers lives easier.


Doing my best to learn and build modern applications and tools and teach others what I know. I love to write tools and applications to help others, especially in my field, or those less fortunate. Eventually, hoping to solve bigger problems.


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I definitely have an internal dialogue that runs 24x7 no matter what. Though sometimes if you ask me what I am thinking about, just that sudden snap of disruption will cause me to completely forget what it was.


Hmmm, I have one, but I wouldn't call it my voice. It doesn't sounds like how I hear me talk or how I hear recordings. It's just like... Generic female NPC.


Yea mine both sounds like me but doesn't. It's just a voice. But it's that some have one and some don't is what's weird.


Inner monologue, isn't it called "thinking"? Would there really be people who are lacking that?


Apparently some do. It's not that they cant think, it's just they can't voice it in their head. They have to vocalize. Or they just visualize key words or similar. But theres no voice. I'm still wrapping my head around that


Yeah I agree that that's weird! So there's no "language" coupled to their thinking, at least not 'internally'. Interestingly most (or all) animals other than humans would have no "voice" either because their thought process is entirely instinctive, non-symbolic. Animals can be intelligent but humans are the only species that manipulate "symbols" (which words are). No voice/language inside your head means you wouldn't be thinking 'symbolically' at least not internally. That seems weird and contradictory. On the other hand when reading/writing it would be entirely possible to think (also symbolically) without the voice. Just as we are doing right now when typing this.


Inner? I just talk out loud. Or to my cats.


Yea. Like I can have a conversation with myself in my head without vocalizing. It's just a voice. I mean I can imagine it as someone else's voice but it's usually just a generic voice.


This is crazy, I was just "wondering" about it the other day.