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Old 04-14-2011, 11:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: W, CT
Posts: 185
Krista2882 HB UserKrista2882 HB User
Do you think in words or pictures?

I recently found out that most people think in words like a running dialogue in their heads. I was surprised to learn this because I've always thought in pictures. The only time I hear words in my head is if I'm thinking of something someone said to me or if I'm trying to plan out something I need to say to someone. But my normal moment-by-moment thought process is in pictures and colors and feelings. When people are talking, I'm seeing pictures of both the things they're talking about and pictures of a lot of the words they're saying (which is maybe why I'm a good speller). Sometimes I find that I associate a color with a certain word or phrase. But never do I actually talk to myself in my head. I asked a friend about it once, and he said when he thinks, it's literally like, he wakes up in the morning and is just saying to himself in his head what he's doing or plans on doing next. Like an ongoing narrative. That must be so weird.
When I read books, I do enjoy good writing. The words are important. I don't like to read bad dialoge or bad prose, but while I'm reading, I'm seeing pictures in my head. I visualize everything that's going on. So when someone asks me if I've read "Grapes of Wrath" , my mind just goes back to everything I pictured in my head as I read it. It was if it was a movie. I remember colors I saw, I remember the scenery and lighting I saw in my head, and I can remember what the people looked like. This is one reason why I usually don't like a movie that's based on a book if I've already read the book, because nothing looks the same as I pictured it in my head. So, to the people who think in words- when you read a book, do you vividly picture everything that's going on? Or after you finish reading, is it more like an objective fact that you've read the book and liked it rather than experiencing it all over again when you think about it?
I think this is maybe why I'm so artistic. I sometimes have trouble translating a picture I'm seeing in my head to a canvas, but I still love painting. And I really love photography. I was curious about this- whether artistic people tend to think in pictures more than in words, so I asked a friend of mine, who is very musically and artistically talented, and he said at the time I asked him, he was thinking in rhythms, when he's teaching, he thinks in words, and if he's angry or upset, he thinks in pictures to the point that he can't even speak because words don't make sense.
Anyway, I'm curious. How do all of you think?

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