Where would we be without the voices in our heads? To get at this question, Charles Fernyhough raises another: can children think before they have words? According to Fernyhough, a Russian psychologist named Lev Vygotsky developed a theory about how the words and voices we hear as kids turn from speech outside our heads, to speech inside our heads... and help steer our reasoning and decision-making.
But, of course, not all the voices echoing inside our skulls are friendly helpers. Claude Steele describes how big an impact negative inner voices can have when we're stressed, and just how powerful words and stereotypes can be.
Charles Fernyhough, A Thousand Days of Wonder