Talking to Ourselves

心のなかの独り言 内言の科学

By Charles Fernyhough C. ファニーハフ
English 日本語 日本語
My alarm woke me early. I was in a hotel room in London, near the headquarters of the BBC. I hadn’t slept well. When I looked in the bathroom mirror, I saw someone pale and slightly terrified. I had reason to feel nervous. In just over an hour I would be speaking live to an audience of millions on the BBC’s flagship radio discussion program, Start the Week. As I gazed into the mirror, I was aware that I was talking, silently, in my head. My words were a reassurance. They were aimed at me. “Relax,” I said. “You’ve been on Start the Week before.” I had the impression that I was speaking to myself but was also hearing something internally, the familiar shadow of a voice.  ロンドンはBBC(英国放送協会)の近くにあるホテルの一室で,私は朝早く目覚まし時計のアラームで起きた。よく眠れていなかった。バスルームの鏡に映っているのは青ざめて少し怯えた様子の男だ。私が不安を感じていたのには理由がある。あと1時間ほどで,BBCラジオの看板トーク番組「スタート・ザ・ウィーク」に生出演して何百万人ものリスナーに向けて話をすることになっていた。
This is a story about everyday experience: the thoughts, images and sensations that go through your head as you are soaking in the tub, chopping onions in the kitchen or waiting for the door to open on an important meeting. When asked, people often say that their inner lives contain a lot of words. Psychologists use the term “inner speech” for this phenomenon, in which people talk to themselves silently in their head. It has a cousin, “private speech,” in which people talk to themselves audibly. If you say words to yourself, such as “Remember to get some coffee” or “Stick to the plan,” without making a sound, then you are using inner speech. If you say something similar to yourself out loud, it is private speech.  誰しも同様のことを日常的に経験している。お風呂につかっているとき,台所でタマネギを刻んでいるとき,あるいは重要な面会を前にドアを開けるのをちょっと待っているときに,様々な考えやイメージ,感覚が頭をよぎる。そうした内的な精神生活は多くの言葉を伴っているという人が多い。声に出さず,頭のなかで自分に語りかけるこの現象を,心理学者は「内言(インナースピーチ)」と呼んでいる。これとよく似ているが,声に出して自分に語りかけるのは「私的発話(プライベートスピーチ)」という。例えば「コーヒーを買って帰るのを忘れずに」とか「予定通りしっかりやれ」などと声に出さずに自分に言い聞かせるのが内言で,同様のことを声に出して話すのが私的発話だ。
Both forms of language seem to have varied purposes, including planning and monitoring our behavior, regulating our emotions and fostering creativity. Among adults, inner speech seems to be more common than the private variety and, of particular interest to psychologists, is thus the form that probably plays the biggest part in our thinking. It is also quite a bit more difficult to study. When I was starting out in research in the 1990s, there was hardly any scientific literature on the topic. That situation has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades, partly because researchers have developed new experimental techniques for studying inner speech and partly because we now have a richer notion of how it functions, what forms it takes, and how it can benefit and hinder a thinker. In fact, we are starting to realize that inner speech elucidates some big questions about the mind and brain.  内言も私的発話も,自分の行動の計画と監視,感情の調節,独創的発想の促進など,様々な目的を果たしているとみられる。成人の場合は私的発話よりも内言が多いようで,したがって心理学者にとって特に興味深いことに,内言はおそらく思考の大部分を形成している。