According to Jonathan Adler "one of the most important and least recognized features of the human mind is inner speech which is sometimes refered to as self-talk". In adults, self-talk is described as "thinking" or “reflection”. Self-talk is a continuous narrative feature of the mind. We often "think" things silently to ourselves - have the conscious experience of having a certain thought. We also silently "say" things to ourselves trough our inner speech.
Inner speech facilitates self-awarnes because it creates a psychological distance between the self and the mental events it experiences—which facilitates self-observation— it can act as a problem-solving devise where the self represents the problem and self-information the solution, and can label aspects of one’s inner life that would otherwise be difficult to objectively perceive.
"Self-talk (thought) begins in children learning language, connecting words to their experiences and actions. Language skills develop slowly in a predetermined sequence that requires daily practice. The meaning of words and sentences develops as sounds are linked to experiences in real time. Children will talk to themselves as they play and learn. Their monologues begin with repeating words and statements they copy and extend to problem-solving and creative narratives that expand the range of linguistic ability." - explained Stephen Gislason.
Researchers have found that the human brain has a natural affinity for narrative which is baed on inner speach. People tend to remember facts more accurately if they encounter them in a story rather than in a list. According to Harlene Anderson's the most influential/relevant component on the self is the narrative; The following propositions are based on her assumptions:
- The self is formed, informed and reformed through story telling.
- Therefore the self is a dynamic mosaic, a cloth woven of stories told - reader & writer of own lives.
- An on-going self & other multi-faceted biography which is constructed, reconstructed through interaction & relationship (a being & becoming through language).
- As humans we are interpretive beings.
- We seek to make sense of daily experiences.
- The stories we have about our lives are created by linking together certain events in a particular sequence across a certain time period and explain or make sense of them (plot).
- Talk is action - “I” telling self and others who we are, where we come from and where we going.