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Do you think in pictures?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Loomis, Jul 16, 2012.

Do you think in pictures or words?

  1. I think in Words!

    23 vote(s)
    17.3%
  2. I think in Pictures!

    98 vote(s)
    73.7%
  3. I have no idea what you mean! (This means you should post a reply to the thread)

    12 vote(s)
    9.0%
  1. Christian T

    Christian T Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    Yes, I predominantly think in words.
     
  2. Kelly

    Kelly Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    Something interesting I was thinking of last night in bed after asking my husband this very question (he didn't have an answer, he couldn't explain how he thought other then it was neither pictures nor words) was about books and faces.

    When I read a book I can visualise everything in my head, the scene, the person etc like watching a movie but they never have faces, it's just a blank spot (the closest thing I can find to show you all is in this COF music video the creature/person thing at 1.53 in, but when I picture it there are no vague features, just an emptyness). Which of course makes it very difficult when writing a story because I can't describe what they look like other then their bodies, height, hair, in my books I've had to just make it up or like with one character, find an actor who I think would play the part perfectly and describe their face(such as this picture of Cillian Murphy for one of the vampires).
     
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  3. Christian T

    Christian T Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    I know exactly what you mean, Kelly, about faces. It's why, when reading Harry Potter, I've always had to visualise them as the actors from the films, even if J.K. Rowling's descriptions of them are very different.
     
  4. fjord

    fjord Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    Do you think you can explain this more? How do you think in words without hearing or seeing them? How do you dissociate thinking from the 5 senses?



    Same here. Faces are too personal. I kind of feel sad once I've seen the movie to a book and realize I can't get rid of the new images (faces)!
     
  5. Studies Shadows

    Studies Shadows Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    I predominatly think in pictures too. Its like having an internal video in my brain I can watch the pictures flow in my brain as a pastime, some times its better than real movies. Give me any image or object and I can visualise it in any form, ie: a rose, I can see it, made out of ice, clay, wood, fire, metal, smoke, any concivable way...and turn it around in 3D. I guess this must be a useful talent somewhere, but I have always felt under employed. I am a struggling artist.
     
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  6. Christian T

    Christian T Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    Ah, well I suppose you've got me there. Out of words or pictures, I think more in words, but I suppose the bulk of my thinking is done in concepts - mental sensations that can't always reach for the right words. I'm sorry if it feels like I keep contradicting myself, but it is very challenging for me to explain. Whenever I think in words, I will often hear it and see it in my mind, now that I consider it more carefully. Sight and hearing - in terms of words - occur mentally for me, but smell exists outside of my mind, like touch, and is more physical. I can visualise things and replay other types of sounds in my head, but I don't do this nearly as often as I mentally see and hear words - except with music, because I frequently play that in my head.

    Does that make sense? :S
     
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  7. fjord

    fjord Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    No, it doesn't sound like you're contradicting yourself because we just don't have the words to describe thinking. Even "thinking in pictures" is inadequate because it's really so much more than that.

    A long time ago I watched a show about an autistic woman who disagreed with Temple Grandin that "thinking in pictures" was applicable to all people in the spectrum. She herself was very audio, as opposed to visual. What I took away from that (whether the show stated it or not) was that people on the spectrum have very heightened "abilities", a super enhancement of their personality and other mental powers.

    Even though I'm extremely visual, certainly not ALL my thoughts are in pictures. After all, not all words have pictures. Plus thoughts usually, uh, race through my mind :eek: Maybe it's like a foggy video of impressions, but when it's slowed down, it becomes clear pictures.
     
  8. Margaretha

    Margaretha Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    It's interesting that the more people examine their thinking, the more they find they share in common. I think predominantly visual thinkers are able to visualize thoughts very rapidly or see their thoughts like videos playing in their minds. Thinking in words would have to be very linear, one word at a time, one sentence at a time. I can't imagine thinking that way. My thoughts come together as a whole concept. Like an intricate spider web, and it's very difficult to unravel it and put it into words so others can understand exactly what I mean.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  9. Geordie

    Geordie Geordie

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    I can find the words that flow naturally with pictures, most of the time. People think I think in words - uh, no, I think in terms of fluid pictures when I'm well, though I'm feeling messed up if my mental pictures become blurry
     
  10. Christian T

    Christian T Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    I have a similar view, there. I never feel that a bunch of technical terms can do justice to the complexities of the mind, and very often oversimplify them. I always feel that this is where metaphors, colloquialisms and flowery pieces of description are much better at conveying someone's mental activities.

    As a linguistic thinker myself, I must say that words can actually be just as richly evocative and multi-faceted as images. Many words are layered with varying connotations, and there are subtle changes evoked by the phrasing of certain sentences. The implications of different phrases and word choices is often very subjective and open for discussion. Words definitely have their own exciting artistry.
     
  11. Margaretha

    Margaretha Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    I see what you mean Christian. Language can be rich and poetic and beautiful, and thinking in such language concepts could be amazing.
     
  12. Dara

    Dara Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    I think in pictures and... feelings/impressions.
    Maybe these aren't really part of my thought process, they're a response to my thoughts... I'm not sure.

    When I'm stressed I think in words: tiring, obsessive vortexes of words on which I have little control.
     
  13. Shine

    Shine Well-Known Member

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    Re: Do you think in pictures or words?

    I've heard that most people think in a mixture of images and words. My problem is, I can't really pinpoint my thinking to clear images nor words. I think most of the time it's just associations. I've read the whole thread and earlier somebody mentioned a ketchup bottle. I didn't see the whole bottle. I was thinking "red", too, but also had a feeling of the cold plastic of the bottle, maybe even a hint of the taste of in on my tongue, "organic" popped into my head, but not really as a word, but as an association that could be translated into something like "that healthy stuff you buy at the farmers market and there are no pesticides in it". Maybe I saw a fraction of half a fruit stand in my mind, blurry and more in browns than in bright colors, surrounded by nothing.

    In my dreams, I also don't have clear colorful detailed movies. It's more of a blurry mass and people don't have faces. It's more 3D and makes me feel a certain way. I think I dream and think more in feelings which I never even used to be aware of though nor did I have access to them. I didn't know what to make of them; I used to go through life pretty unaware of myself. I was definitely lightyears from somebody able or interested in writing a diary. (Well, for a while as a kid I did, because somebody had given me one, but it was only about the facts that happened that day and I found that very boring so I stopped.)

    I'm afraid my thoughts don't really make it into pictures or words, unless I really force myself. I can have self talk (usually to make me do sth or lately to consciously improve my mood) or imagine a conversation (when I'm passionate about sth).

    I think I am more of a kinetic learner type; I like dancing and I'm a musician. I think I perceive things in feelings that I don't really have access to.
     
  14. Andrew_Collins

    Andrew_Collins What is Bramble?

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    Yes i always think of certain objects when i hear the days of the week, when i hear the word jesus,i always think of cheese, maybe i was looking or eating cheese when i first heard his name, when i hear the word Thursday i always think of a spoon with soup on it, I'm sure my mum was feeding me soup and said thursday as a baby and it just stuck. When i hear Monday, i think of a peeled Banana...this is so weird as I've never discussed this before with anyone as i never understood why myself.
     
  15. Harrison

    Harrison The Mad Taoist

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    I think in pictures and I assumed everyone did until a conversation I had with Nitro on another thread.

    When I read a book its more like watching a film as I see the characters an action instantly in my mind. All my recall is image based too, and having had a few hours to mull it over I realise the'speciality' part is my spacial awareness. I drive trucks and fly planes, never get lost and have always 'seen' an overlay of info on the views around me. Thanks to Nitro I'm now reading up on Temple's work.
     
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  16. Epicurean Pariah

    Epicurean Pariah Immaculate perception

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    I will respond to this ancient thread. I conceive and intuit in torrents of images, smells, sounds and sometimes I get these bright day glow zigzags within crescents that float around behind my vision. If intense, I feel vertigo, and must lie down within20/30 seconds and almost but never black out. I do not have the strength to lift my head, but can speak coherently with difficulty as I perspire profusely for 15 mins or
    so. When I come out of it, I have exceptional clarity of whatever I was thinking about that prompted the "attack".
    The rest of the time I seem to think with words as if in a conversation at a normal speaking pace to crunch the thought.
    I often thought it might be connected to my lucid dreaming.
    I have been told this is called painless migraine with aura.
     
  17. When In Rome

    When In Rome Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I think in pictures.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    So, are you saying that you see movies in your mind, or what?

    Snapshot scenes?

    Or was this just a joke? I can't tell.
     
  19. CyborgSpaceKitten

    CyborgSpaceKitten Well-Known Member

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    I don't see any sort of images in my mind. If you ask me to picture someone that I have seen many times, I can't even picture them in my mind. I am completely unable to see images in my mind. I get so jealous of people who can do this because it's a real handicap as an artist. I have to rely solely on reference pictures, because I can't conjure up pictures in my head. Even as a kid I had almost no imagination.
     
  20. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I definitely see pictures in my minds eye. Everything, even numbers have a image when I think about them. Over the years this as been a very good thing for me. I make my living repairing machinery and electronics. When I have a problem to solve, I study it. I see possible solutions in my minds eye and test them. In this way, I can decide whether a solution is worth trying or not.

    Like many others here, I spent most of my life believing everyone thought in pictures. I also spent most of my life not knowing that I was a Aspie. In the last nine years, I have got to know myself a lot better.