Research Topic

Exploring the Nature, Content, and Frequency of Intrapersonal Communication

About this Research Topic

The phenomenon of “talking to oneself” presents a variety of interesting theoretical, research, and measurement opportunities and challenges. Interest in inner speech (covert self-communication) and private speech (self-communication that occurs aloud) has a long history in clinical, cognitive, sport, and ...

The phenomenon of “talking to oneself” presents a variety of interesting theoretical, research, and measurement opportunities and challenges. Interest in inner speech (covert self-communication) and private speech (self-communication that occurs aloud) has a long history in clinical, cognitive, sport, and developmental psychology. However, only recently have researchers begun in earnest to explore the wide range of features of intrapersonal communication. For example, recent work examines individual and personality differences in the nature, content, and frequency of what is variously called inner speech, self-talk, and internal dialogue. Research on various aspects of the neuroanatomy of inner speech is also very active.

Topics that researchers have begun to explore include analysis of the different functions served by intrapersonal communication; the distinction between condensed (fast or automatic) and elaborated (slow or deliberative) inner speech; similarities and differences between silent and aloud self-talk; and differences in the use of personal pronouns in internal dialogues. Variations in intrapersonal communication have been studied using multiple methods, including questionnaires, open-ended self-reports, thinking aloud protocols, imaging techniques, and descriptive experience sampling. Researchers have also started to examine ways that inner speech can be manipulated and the effects of those manipulations on thoughts, emotions, and behavior.

It is clear that people show wide variation in what kinds of intrapersonal communication they experience, how frequently they engage in it, and what functions it serves. In this Research Topic, the contributors explore a range of explanations for how and why people differ in their inner speech, self-talk, or internal dialogue. The main goal of the Research Topic is to offer a scientific platform for the dissemination of current high-quality research pertaining to the phenomenon of intrapersonal communication (inner speech, self-talk, and internal dialogue).

Although data on all forms of intrapersonal communication are welcome, reports on recent advances in inner speech, self-talk, and internal dialogue research are particularly encouraged. Examples of acceptable themes are:

(1) description and validation of new scales or inventories measuring any form of intrapersonal communication;
(2) novel uses of existing measures of intrapersonal communication;
(3) development of smartphone and imaging technologies to sample intrapersonal communication;
(4) frequency, content, determinants, and functions of various forms of intrapersonal communication;
(5) correlations between personality or cognitive variables and aspects of intrapersonal communication;
(6) developmental and age differences in inner and private speech;
(7) self-talk/internal dialogue and prayer;
(8) cultural differences in intrapersonal communication.


Keywords: Inner Speech, Self-Talk, Internal Dialogue, Private Speech, Individual Differences


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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15 January 2019 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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