Do You Hear an Inner Voice When Reading?

What do you hear as you are reading this article?

If you hear an inner voice speaking the words to you, you are part of the 80% of people who have reported hearing an inner voice as they read to themselves.

A study conducted by Professor Ruvanee Vilhauer, from New York University’s Department of Psychology, examined 160 answers from a survey about reading and found a large number of participants had an “inner reading voice”.

The voice ranged from the participant’s own voice to their family members, friends or even characters, and the likelihood of hearing the voice was dependent upon circumstances like how much they were enjoying the book.

The survey found that 13% of people only heard the voice only sometimes while 11% of people surveyed claimed they had never heard an inner voice while reading. Some people in the study even reported hearing a voice that was “uncontrollable” to them.

This study is one of the first to properly investigate the phenomenon of hearing an inner voice, the reason for so little studies could be because many people have assumed hearing a voice is completely normal.

So next time you settle down to a good book and find yourself inwardly voicing the characters, rest assured you’re not alone.

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