Research published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that talking to yourself as you search for something may actually help you find that item faster.
The researchers, from University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Pennsylvania, conducted several experiments as part of the study. In the first, they presented participants with 20 images of objects. The volunteers were then asked to look for that particular object; some were just directed with a label to look for that item, while others were prompted to look for it while repeating the name of the item.
The researchers found that the study participants who repeated the item name aloud were able to find it more quickly than those who didn't.
The researchers also had the study participants look at pictures of supermarket items, and then look for them in a virtual supermarket. They found that saying the name of a popular item aloud -- like "Coke" when referring to Coke soda -- helped in finding the item faster. But the effect didn't quite work for less familiar items -- like saying "Speed Stick" when referring to Speed Stick deodorant.
Do you talk aloud to yourself? Do you find that it helps you? Tell us in the comments!