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Are you one of the 80% of people who hears an inner voice when reading?


As you are reading this article, do you hear an inner voice speaking the words to you?

If so, you are part of a group of 80% of people who have reported hearing an inner voice as they read quietly to themselves.


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

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

The survey found that 13% of people only heard the voice "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.


The study is one of the first to properly investigate the phenomenon of hearing an inner voice. BPS Research Digest reports that the psychologist believes this may be because people have assumed it is completely normal.

So next time you find yourself inwardly voicing the characters from Bridget Jones, Pride and Prejudice or War and Peace, rest assured you're not alone.


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