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View Poll Results: Do you think mostly in words or not?

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  • Think in words

    48 42.48%
  • Not think in words (I'm not sure of all the different ways people would think in.)

    65 57.52%
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  1. #31
    Senior Member developer's Avatar
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    Very intersting graph, Santtu ! For me, the very first part of a thought is usually an image, very similar to what you drew. Very often, it looks like a 3D - grid, and I see connections within. Also, sometimes it looks like the Coverflow funtion in iTunes. Then, when I work out the details, it changes into words.

    So, where do I put my vote now ? I guess, with "not in words"...

  2. #32
    Fight For Freedom FFF's Avatar
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    I vaguely remember something about minute tongue movements being measured by scientists when people are thinking... errr maybe it was reading. This was done with deaf people who use sign language, and it was found they had minute hand movements.

  3. #33
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    I think largely in images and what Jung described as "feeling tones". (These aren't to be confused with emotions!)

    However, when I've been rolling a concept around in my mind for some time and want to clarify, I often imagine a dialogue with a friend wherein I attempt to explain the concept to him/her, my mental reconstruction of him/her asking the questions and making the statements I would expect the actual person to.

    From what I've seen, I think that's a pretty common INXJ thing.

  4. #34
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Interesting... I've heard that the first thing our minds come up with are pictures... For example... think of a horse. What jumps out in your mind? The word horse? Or the image of a horse? I doubt few of us will see the letters HORSE spelt out in our minds. More like an image... or a recollection of a collection of images together to form a short film segment that plays in our mind accompanied with the emotions tied to that memory. Then we've unconsciously learn to translate that into words. As an effective means of communication... also as a way of bundling something complex into symbols. For our limited working memory cannot effectively process large quantity of information at once.

  5. #35
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    I think in words, but I also think in pictures formed by my imagination. Because of that sometimes it is hard for me to put things I think into words, simply because it is comprised of more than just a sentence. I guess this would be my Ni. If I am thinking about what the plot of my novel should be about, I don't brainstorm words, I brainstorm pictures that summarize it. When I think of these pictures it invokes strong feelings of emotion and meaning that I weave into words later.

    However, when I've been rolling a concept around in my mind for some time and want to clarify, I often imagine a dialogue with a friend wherein I attempt to explain the concept to him/her, my mental reconstruction of him/her asking the questions and making the statements I would expect the actual person to.
    I also do this when I'm working with concepts.
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  6. #36
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    I think in words most of the time, but they go so fast that I don't always hear them in my head. I might hear the first word or two in my head, and the rest of the words just zip through to the meaning. I suppose I think in images, too. I would describe my thought process as sort of like kayaking off of a waterfall - eternally. I hear it, I see it, I feel it, then BOOM, it's there, I'm falling, I'm floating back to the surface, and then it's tranquil for a bit.

    I could never accurately explain such a thing. I don't think I'm ever stuck with one method or formula for anything - I could use any style or mode of thinking. I can be intuitive and random or logical, focused, and orderly. I have a huge crush on my brain. It's my favorite toy. And I would never create some kind of barrier inside of it. It's my playground and the wood chips taste good!
    "When a resolute young fellow steps up the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find that it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #37
    Senior Member marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I think largely in images and what Jung described as "feeling tones". (These aren't to be confused with emotions!)

    However, when I've been rolling a concept around in my mind for some time and want to clarify, I often imagine a dialogue with a friend wherein I attempt to explain the concept to him/her, my mental reconstruction of him/her asking the questions and making the statements I would expect the actual person to.

    From what I've seen, I think that's a pretty common INXJ thing.
    If I'm thinking deeply, then I do feeling tones. To me, abstract concepts can be felt. I remember things by feeling and I feel out the connections between things. Once I've internalized something, then words are secondary. But it takes a long time to deeply internalize something.

    I talk to myself a lot and sometimes I have imaginary discussions with others. However, the more intellectual my thought process, then the more I go by the method of feeling tones. I only talk things out to myself when I'm trying to clarify my thinking, to figure out what precisely is on my mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Interesting... I've heard that the first thing our minds come up with are pictures... For example... think of a horse. What jumps out in your mind? The word horse? Or the image of a horse? I doubt few of us will see the letters HORSE spelt out in our minds. More like an image... or a recollection of a collection of images together to form a short film segment that plays in our mind accompanied with the emotions tied to that memory. Then we've unconsciously learn to translate that into words. As an effective means of communication... also as a way of bundling something complex into symbols. For our limited working memory cannot effectively process large quantity of information at once.
    When you said "horse," I pictured a horse. However, my direct experience of horses is limited. If you had said "cat," then my first response would have been more of a feeling tone mixed with some actual emotion. Things that I've seen before, I'll remember as an image. I don't use imagery for my complex thinking except for a type of visual-spatial feeling tone processing that I'll use, but its more a feeling of relationships than imagery.

  8. #38
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    If I'm thinking deeply, then I do feeling tones. To me, abstract concepts can be felt. I remember things by feeling and I feel out the connections between things.
    That's a good way of describing it. I tend to recall the reaction or "feeling" something evoked in me as a shorthand for the thing or concept itself. It's not as simple as "it made me feel happy", however. And it's not in a vacuum; the feeling-tones are defined in relation to all of their connections.

  9. #39
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    That's a good way of describing it. I tend to recall the reaction or "feeling" something evoked in me as a shorthand for the thing or concept itself. It's not as simple as "it made me feel happy", however. And it's not in a vacuum; the feeling-tones are defined in relation to all of their connections.
    That's distinctly different from how I experience things. It's very weird, actually. It's kind of like there's a pattern match on every word or connection between words I see. For instance, a word like "house" would give me several ideas/connections at first, which would quickly be narrowed down by the context introduced by neighboring words.

    I would probably start running with things like blueprints, real estate, federal and state building code regulations, architecture, construction and demolition, mortgages, people arguing with their neighbors about a property line, property taxes, neighborhood associations, among other things.

    If there are other words around it, it's as if I identify the nature of the connection between the words itself as an exact pattern, and see only the parts that fit with the idea being expressed. It's very hard to explain how my mind narrows all these connections down to a few based on how the words are connected, and the nature of the words being connected... it's as if I have an innate idea of the nature of possible connections between words and ideas, and I'm aware of which are most likely, and I keep getting better at identifying which apply in which situations.

  10. #40
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I would probably start running with things like blueprints, real estate, federal and state building code regulations, architecture, construction and demolition, mortgages, people arguing with their neighbors about a property line, property taxes, neighborhood associations, among other things.

    If there are other words around it, it's as if I identify the nature of the connection between the words itself as an exact pattern, and see only the parts that fit with the idea being expressed. It's very hard to explain how my mind narrows all these connections down to a few based on how the words are connected, and the nature of the words being connected... it's as if I have an innate idea of the nature of possible connections between words and ideas, and I'm aware of which are most likely, and I keep getting better at identifying which apply in which situations.
    And that is the basis of Ni in action is it not? A linking of related concepts together where one thought triggers another one to surface. Or it's more like relational distance. What you are currently thinking about has high importance... and it fades over time/as new concepts float into your mind. The next item that gets called up is the one that's related to whatever concepts in your mind... based on the hierarchy of importance. Oh at least that's how I think my mind works...

    Sometimes the concepts are word based... often times though I get something like an image or an impression (a vague image/feeling/sensation?). Most of those flashes by extremely quickly unless I deliberately try to hold onto them. Even then they fade away fast and I'm left with a vague sense of something that interests me but darn it I can't bring it into focus in my mind anymore. :sad: Most time the impressions are translated over to words. Or rather I have a running dialogue with myself in words overlaid with flashes.

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