Possible Links Between Self-Awareness and Inner Speech Theoretical background, underlying mechanisms, and empirical evidence
A neurocognitive and socioecological model of self-awareness has been recently proposed (Morin, 2003; 2004). The model takes into account most known mechanisms and processes leading to self-awareness, and examines their multiple and complex interactions. Inner speech is postulated to play a key-role in this model, as it establishes important connections between many of its elements. This paper first reviews past and current references to a link between self-awareness and inner speech. It then presents an analysis of the nature of the relation between these two concepts. It is suggested that inner speech can internally reproduce and expand social and physical (ecological) sources of self- awareness. Inner speech can also create a psychological distance between the self and mental events it experiences (thus facilitating self-observation) it can act as a problem- solving device 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. Empirical evidence supporting the role of inner speech in self-awareness is also presented.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2005