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Thread: Visual thinking in images, pictures

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    Default Visual thinking in images, pictures

    I'm an INTJ - the type doesn't totally matter, though i am curious... how many here think in pictures? as in thinking in primary pictures - no words.

    when i think of an object i can see it in 3-d, play with it in my hands, feel it's texture, temperature, maybe even smell and taste it (depending what it is). i can clearly hear music in my head, thousands of songs are indexed, yet can't sing along.

    when i asked this on another group many said they thought in pictures. but after later research I've found that many people do indeed recall pictures (many never really though about how they think). but I'm wondering how many can really visualize information like this.

    examples of known visual thinkers - Einstein, Steven Hawking, and of course that Temple Grandin lady who appears in every place online.

    thanks

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    I think in psuedo-images and mental intuitions.
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    I think almost completely in words unless I'm actively trying to remember something or imagining something.
    TiNe, LII, INTj, etc.
    "I feel like I should be making a sarcastic comment right now, but you're just so cute!" - Shego, Kim Possible

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    I think in pictures, voices, and something else that I can't describe. It's sort of like I'm thinking things but don't pay any attention to the thought unless it becomes a picture or words. Often I realize that I'd been thinking of something but hadn't realized it at the time.

    Hehe, it was nice as a bartender because I could take orders for 3 different groups of people, make them in the most logical way, ring them up separately, take of of their money at once and bring them back the right change. It happends very quickly, and all the while I know that the girl on the end wants quarters for the pool table, the lady on the other end wants a lemon, the guy over there just dropped his straw and wants a different one, two people who need to be carded walked through the door, etc. I give people what they want before they ask for it. It's super fun.

    Um, yeah. About thinking in pictures, when someone thinks in pictures all the time, it can make it difficult to function. Einstein was thought to have had Asperger's Syndrome, and those with autistic spectrum disorders do indeed think in pictures.

    Overall, I think I think in pictures a lot more than most. When someone says something to me, I picture it without trying to or realize it. My friends knew this and thought it was funny to say things that would have an unpleasent mental picture because I couldn't help but visualize it and then I'd react and they'd laugh.
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    I think this is all just pop psychology. EVERYONE thinks in images, voices, and sounds when needed.
    Binary or dichotomous systems, although regulated by a principle, are among the most artificial arrangements that have ever been invented. -- William Swainson, A Treatise on the Geography and Classification of Animals (1835)

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    "I think this is all just pop psychology. EVERYONE thinks in images, voices, and sounds when needed."

    But the ability to think in any of the manners stated varies from person to person.
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    ive always said i think in diagrams.

    what is a "known visual thinker"? where can i read about such things?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSonic
    "I think this is all just pop psychology. EVERYONE thinks in images, voices, and sounds when needed."

    But the ability to think in any of the manners stated varies from person to person.
    And from environment to environment. As you read my post, are you thinking visually or verbally?
    Binary or dichotomous systems, although regulated by a principle, are among the most artificial arrangements that have ever been invented. -- William Swainson, A Treatise on the Geography and Classification of Animals (1835)

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    For a general rule, rationals perfer words and language; verbal communication. Irrationals perfer non-verbal communication.
    MAYBE I'LL BREAK DOWN!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by vague
    Rocky's posts are as enjoyable as having wisdom teeth removed.

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    Mostly words, almost always.

    I read this post this morning, and as I went to school I tried to blatlantly visualize my friend's faces and features, Nothing but words. I literally could not concentrate upon more than a certain feature of them. I could describe the whole face in its entirity but not see the picture in my mind.

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    My mom can't picture things either. We think she's an ENFj.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Kensington
    ive always said i think in diagrams.

    what is a "known visual thinker"? where can i read about such things?
    you can look up "visual thinking", "eidetic memory", "picture thinking", "right brain dominance", "temple grandin".

    it's basically the ability to think in only pictures. words never come into play, i can barely see words. when someone speaks i have to mentally make an image as they speak. as a result i only hear every other word, summing up the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky
    For a general rule, rationals perfer words and language; verbal communication. Irrationals perfer non-verbal communication.
    but i'm still an NT. using (non accurate), brain tests, i usually test as balanced. but i take it with a grain of salt, since most of the answers are "it depends", and the answers are only as good as the guy who made them up.

    ideally though i thought INTJ - the NT part meant left and right brain thinking. it's a paradox, iNtuition on the right side, Thinking on the left, the two should cancel each other out.

    in my case though, i think in pictures. made for order dreams if you will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeia
    Mostly words, almost always.

    I read this post this morning, and as I went to school I tried to blatlantly visualize my friend's faces and features, Nothing but words. I literally could not concentrate upon more than a certain feature of them. I could describe the whole face in its entirity but not see the picture in my mind.
    in my case, i can see their face - but not describe them - with maybe but a few features. however i can memorize a layout of a room, and draw a blue print to scale. i can see it like a POV ray camera would, flying, crawling, walking, etc. it's a virtual reality like ability.

    yet a word is nothing more than a picture. when driving, i can't read signs and such as they don't make sense (as in turn right at mike street). i use landmarks... and if you ever use landmarks - never use a tree. i've made that mistake too many times. and literally the next day, the tree is totally gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_INTJ
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky
    For a general rule, rationals perfer words and language; verbal communication. Irrationals perfer non-verbal communication.
    but i'm still an NT. using (non accurate), brain tests, i usually test as balanced. but i take it with a grain of salt, since most of the answers are "it depends", and the answers are only as good as the guy who made them up.

    ideally though i thought INTJ - the NT part meant left and right brain thinking. it's a paradox, iNtuition on the right side, Thinking on the left, the two should cancel each other out.

    in my case though, i think in pictures. made for order dreams if you will.
    Thinking is found in both hemispheres. Intution is mainly in the right. Apparently, the rational types are the left-brained ones. Are you a socionics rational, or an MBTI judger? If it's MBTI, then it may be switch for you in socionics. Sensing is also, mostly, in the right brian.

    in my case, i can see their face - but not describe them - with maybe but a few features. however i can memorize a layout of a room, and draw a blue print to scale. i can see it like a POV ray camera would, flying, crawling, walking, etc. it's a virtual reality like ability.

    yet a word is nothing more than a picture. when driving, i can't read signs and such as they don't make sense (as in turn right at mike street). i use landmarks... and if you ever use landmarks - never use a tree. i've made that mistake too many times. and literally the next day, the tree is totally gone.
    .. this is why you sound more like an irrational type...
    MAYBE I'LL BREAK DOWN!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by vague
    Rocky's posts are as enjoyable as having wisdom teeth removed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky
    For a general rule, rationals perfer words and language; verbal communication. Irrationals perfer non-verbal communication.
    You got that from me, didn't you? Well, I'm not sure it works the same way as is being described here.
    Binary or dichotomous systems, although regulated by a principle, are among the most artificial arrangements that have ever been invented. -- William Swainson, A Treatise on the Geography and Classification of Animals (1835)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cone
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky
    For a general rule, rationals perfer words and language; verbal communication. Irrationals perfer non-verbal communication.
    You got that from me, didn't you? Well, I'm not sure it works the same way as is being described here.
    Huh?

    I got that from the concept of right-brainers being irrational and left-brainers being rational. And, yeah, the left brain sees things in terms of words, etc. while the right brain is more non-verbal. Left brain is specific and foreground, right brain general and background.... and all those other good things that go along with it.
    MAYBE I'LL BREAK DOWN!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by vague
    Rocky's posts are as enjoyable as having wisdom teeth removed.

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    Actually, I got that out of a book on cognitive psychology.
    Binary or dichotomous systems, although regulated by a principle, are among the most artificial arrangements that have ever been invented. -- William Swainson, A Treatise on the Geography and Classification of Animals (1835)

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    I think that there is some correlation between type (rational and irrational) to the style of thinking but it has more to do with how the child was raised and how that child's parents thought (especially how they were taught before 5)

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    Thinking is found in both hemispheres. Intution is mainly in the right. Apparently, the rational types are the left-brained ones. Are you a socionics rational, or an MBTI judger? If it's MBTI, then it may be switch for you in socionics. Sensing is also, mostly, in the right brian.
    [/quote]

    near as i can tell i'm an INTJ in all the tests - however it's like I:80% - N:70-50% - T:70-50% - J:80%

    i've scored as ISTJ, INFJ. however i do have literal intuitive feelings. mostly a actual pain, that warns me of my own type of doom. usually nothing big, but i get a warning of about 15-30min. it's pretty accurate as long as i actually follow it.


    yet a word is nothing more than a picture. when driving, i can't read signs and such as they don't make sense (as in turn right at mike street). i use landmarks... and if you ever use landmarks - never use a tree. i've made that mistake too many times. and literally the next day, the tree is totally gone.
    [/quote]
    .. this is why you sound more like an irrational type...[/quote]

    i don't see how. but in the end - it doesn't matter what type i am. the mbti system is limited, it only sheds light on some personalities. not how someone thinks.

    i'm just trying to get a basic concensus as to how many people can think in primarily pictures.

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    I got that from the concept of right-brainers being irrational and left-brainers being rational. And, yeah, the left brain sees things in terms of words, etc. while the right brain is more non-verbal. Left brain is specific and foreground, right brain general and background.... and all those other good things that go along with it.
    [/quote]

    but what if you could use both sides equally?

    there's also been studies that show that left and right might have switched functions. one side doing the other sides job (if i remember right)

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    I visualize everything well except myself. I can't "see" myself doing anything.

    For getting places, as in maps vs words, words bring the visual image for me; so it's words first then maps versus maps and then words.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaze
    I visualize everything well except myself. I can't "see" myself doing anything.

    For getting places, as in maps vs words, words bring the visual image for me; so it's words first then maps versus maps and then words.
    for me, i can see it from my point of view - arms reaching for something. and i can see myself from behind, like a camera was after me. but not from the front (probably because i don't use a mirror much, except for the random vampire check).

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    i think in clumps of comprehension. which means i tend to move from 'knowing' to 'knowing', and if i have to explain whatever it is i take a clump and unstring it into its logical order. it doesn't involve words or pictures or sounds - almost totally conceptual.

    if i have to slow it down the thoughts tend to manifest in words, i.e. i start to think of the idea in words. or feelings. if i have to i guess i can put a picture to it, but it's hard. i wouldn't make a good crime scene witness - i'd remember what i thought of what i saw, but not the details of what i saw. the only way for me to remember details is if they were part of my thoughts, after which i made a decision or a conclusion about something.

    on the road i rely much more on road signages to get where i'm going, although sometimes i do use landmarks. but after i get used to the route, i use neither. i just know. but i don't visualise it - most times i have no idea whether i'm going a net east or north etc. needless to say, i don't have a good spatial sense either. i mean, i know how to use space, but for the life of me i can't convert a distance i see accurately into metres.

    i guess i just spend so much more time inside my head that i don't often think in terms of sensory perception.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirana
    i think in clumps of comprehension. which means i tend to move from 'knowing' to 'knowing', and if i have to explain whatever it is i take a clump and unstring it into its logical order. it doesn't involve words or pictures or sounds - almost totally conceptual.

    if i have to slow it down the thoughts tend to manifest in words, i.e. i start to think of the idea in words. or feelings. if i have to i guess i can put a picture to it, but it's hard. i wouldn't make a good crime scene witness - i'd remember what i thought of what i saw, but not the details of what i saw. the only way for me to remember details is if they were part of my thoughts, after which i made a decision or a conclusion about something.

    on the road i rely much more on road signages to get where i'm going, although sometimes i do use landmarks. but after i get used to the route, i use neither. i just know. but i don't visualise it - most times i have no idea whether i'm going a net east or north etc. needless to say, i don't have a good spatial sense either. i mean, i know how to use space, but for the life of me i can't convert a distance i see accurately into metres.

    i guess i just spend so much more time inside my head that i don't often think in terms of sensory perception.
    different.

    do you have a strong intuition sense? can you feel a situation before it happens? i usually get a sort of tummy ache right before something bad is about to happen - usually a 5-20 min window in a span of about 3 miles. and it's usually something that would bug me, like a road closed, or "your fired" or something like that.


    usually i'll have a clump, but it's only after studying something from 52 angles, then it all sort of weaves together.

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    well, actually, i do sometimes have a feeling of impending disaster before it happens. but it only happens if the disaster is about something important to me in a personal sense. for instance, it never happens to warn me of a potentially bad situation at work - i have to use old-fashioned reason for that. it's only about my important life decisions, key personal relationships, that it ever pops up.

    but mainly it's a sort of feeling for an option that is the best for me, but in the beginning there's no way to work out logically why. i picked my institutes of higher learning by this gut instinct, after i shortlisted some. and by hindsight, they were the best ones of the bunch for me. sometimes part of me thinks it's coincidence and superstition, and yet at the same time i trust it. :wink: maybe it's a cumulative effect of all the thinking i do at several levels at the back of my mind - that unconsciously i've processed a lot more than i'm actually aware of.

    i dream in pictures though, which is about the only time i think in pictures. i have dreams like movies, with storylines and endings. i never get those persistent dreams with messages, like climbing an endless hill, or running away from things, etc. mine never are that simple.

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    i dream in pictures though, which is about the only time i think in pictures. i have dreams like movies, with storylines and endings. i never get those persistent dreams with messages, like climbing an endless hill, or running away from things, etc. mine never are that simple.
    [/quote]

    do you remember if you have really real dreams? not quite lucid, but detailed enough to taste, hear, smell - and totally experience it?

    i used to run. or i used to see things like storms far off in the distance. or i'll have a continuation dream, where i am there at different times. an open marked field, houses being built, people living there, now abandoned, then really neglected with tree's growing through them... all different dreams at different years, from different views of the same place.

    from my understanding, if you drown or fall in a dream, it means you have asthma, or sleep apnea - an odd tidbit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirana
    well, actually, i do sometimes have a feeling of impending disaster before it happens. but it only happens if the disaster is about something important to me in a personal sense. for instance, it never happens to warn me of a potentially bad situation at work - i have to use old-fashioned reason for that. it's only about my important life decisions, key personal relationships, that it ever pops up.

    but mainly it's a sort of feeling for an option that is the best for me, but in the beginning there's no way to work out logically why. i picked my institutes of higher learning by this gut instinct, after i shortlisted some. and by hindsight, they were the best ones of the bunch for me. sometimes part of me thinks it's coincidence and superstition, and yet at the same time i trust it. :wink: maybe it's a cumulative effect of all the thinking i do at several levels at the back of my mind - that unconsciously i've processed a lot more than i'm actually aware of.
    Boy do I understand that! It's called intuition and it drives me crazy sometimes. I made four intuition predictions before leaving for Vegas last weekend. Told my traveling companion (my daughter's fiance, Mr. Skeptical himself) and I was proved right all four times! He is still amazed.
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    Maybe someone already touched on this but I haven't had a chance to read all of these posts.

    I am taking tai-chi for my physical education requirement in school. The professor asks everyone to relax and imagine themselves doing the moves. This may be a personal peculiarity, but I find this very difficult to do.

    When I am in a social situation I am constantly paying attention to what is going on around me, the extraverted info. Visual images are hazy and sporadic for me. I can force myself, but it feels unnatural unless I am in quiet and am doing something I am enthusiastic about.

    I assume that in terms of distraction extraverts are distracted by the outside and cannot focus on the inside, especially when they are learning, whereas introverts are distracted from the outside by the introverted knowledge.

    I think that there is a difference in the way types imagine things.

    by definition (in most regards) introversion is focusing on your own thoughts and imagination, not what is around you. So internal information, in the form of symbols or imagery, is stronger in introverts but is more stubborn as well, since it takes effort to really see what's happening in the outside world.

    So the image inside is much clearer, but at the expense of picking up new information from the outside. Takes effort to improve that inner vision. So neither side is really better, its the amount of work you put into imagining things or in trying to force yourself "out there"

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    I think strongly in visual representation, but I don't think that is the best way to describe it. In Keirseys book he starts out his Rational chapter with a quote from Einstien: "To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with m mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is." I think in structures.

    And the more I am able to control my thought process I find this being case. Ideas come in the form of structures, for lack of a better term. Often with either images, and indeed multiple images. Things that don't have an image are similar to dataflow diagrams. This may be because I have trained myself to do this though. The harder I concentrate, the more reality is fit into these complex structures.

    It is this ability allows me to "see code" when I am working on a complex computer program. However, I need to understand something very well to properly structure it. So not everything is in structures or even visual images.

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    mike - i don't tend to dream in the first person, although when i do, the only sense that i feel apart from vision is tactile - not smell or taste etc. mostly i dream in the third person, even if about myself. sometimes i dream about a stranger that in the dream i consider to be myself, even though i know she doesn't look like me and isn't me. again, in the third person, as an observer.

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    Yes and no. I tend to use words as framework which I then work out from in a very visual way, hence a lot of my more intense thinking is done nonverbally. I can very easily conjure up a picture of something and then rotate it in my mind if needed. In fact I can do it almost without any effort. I am bad at expressing and explaining a picture that appears with almost perfect clarity inside my mind. When I solved questions on my old physics tests, I tended to immidiatly visualise the situation described in the question and see all the relations in front of me. I never retorted to "just put in the numbers in the correct formula" way of answering the questions.

    Sometimes I might have a few supporting sentences that complement a series of rapidly changing pictures inside my mind, both describing the same situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cone
    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSonic
    "I think this is all just pop psychology. EVERYONE thinks in images, voices, and sounds when needed."

    But the ability to think in any of the manners stated varies from person to person.
    And from environment to environment. As you read my post, are you thinking visually or verbally?

    What we are really talking about, in the end, is the ability to form memories based on sensory input. Visual thinkers recall pictures as the primary source of memory, where verbal thinkers can simply recall a voice or a recording. etc..

    Visual thinkers can also recall a recording, so long as they can visualize the time and place or person making the recording, or have constructed an indirect layer of abstraction whose goal is to apply arbitrary visual images in place of a what might be a linear resentation of words or numbers that anyone else can just rattle off..

    example of a verbal memory: "Oh, jenny? She's 867-5309"

    example of a visual memory... "Jenny.. Jenny.. right. Black hair.. blue eyes. 867-5309. Meanwhile, every other aspect of Jenny has been downloaded into short term memory. I don't just give you a number. I can tell you how many times she peed since I've known her. But ask me again in an hour.. and its time to download again. Jenny? Oh yes, black hair, Blue eyes....." Slow.. yes. But powerful.


    All of us can access all forms of memory (unless there has been physical or genetic damage) but visual thinkers primary use pictures as a way to store and retrieve memory.

    And after all, memory is responsible for all our conscious action.

  34. #34
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    I'm an INTJ, and think mostly in images. I have experienced both the good and bad sides of this. I can visually engineer a car, all parts included, in my head without much problem. Remembering peoples names or my schedule at university is a nightmare however. Details kill me. I think my verbal thinking is used mostly by my superego. It takes the role of supervisor and critic. The part of me that utilizes visualization is creative and carefree. Pretty weird.
    It has been like this for as long as I can remember. I was never encouraged to be creative at home, but instead to use my S skills, so I think it's inborn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ishysquishy
    Mostly, my memory and thoughts auditory, olfactory or vibratory. Yes, often I feel my thoughts physically. I also seem to have a physical sort of empathy (as opposed to emotional), if someone has I headache then I have a headache, if someone gets punched in the nose I feel like I'm going to get a nosebleed, etc.. Violence in general gives me an odd feeling in my thighs, like involuntary contractions or something.
    Hmmm. I feel my thoughts to the point that I get physically tense, excited, etc, especially if I try to visualize myself doing something. But like Blaze, I can't see myself though. Violence or even the thought of confontation makes me physcially ill.

    When I listen to relaxation tapes etc, I become very still and aware of how much noice the human body makes. Amazing. It teaches me to be so much more aware.
    <--- Me pouring out all my love on you!

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    My way of thinking is quite similar to that of the Guest (Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:03 pm )

    I am also an emotional visual thinker. For a girl, I am exceptionally good at spatial thinking. Still I have a limited imagination. I see the general picture... I can zoom in, I can peak around corners, I can see the expressions on the faces of people, I can zoom in on the face and hear the person breathe but when I really look at it, there are no details. I could never draw it. There is a face with a very distinct expression but no lips, nose, eyebrows. But the expression is so strong, that I could almost read her thoughts.
    The visualizing is fun with molecules (my favourite image), because I can hear the electrons whooshing by when I get close enough. All the pictures have some emotion attached to them. I feel the emotion before I get a chance to even think about it. Many things don't even need words to be understandable to me, the picture is enough to remind me of everything about it.

    Bad side of all this: exceptionally bad memory. I can't describe people, can't remember their names, don't know many birthdays (not even close friends). Studying is hard. I have to visualize and deeply understand everything to remember. Nothing to visualize when studying history (names, places, dates, years... awful). I can only memorize things by hearing them many times (PS! Poor boyfriend... I sometimes make him read Latin out loud over and over and over again. )
    EIE, ENFj, intuitive subtype.
    E3 (probably 3w4)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristiina
    My way of thinking is quite similar to that of the Guest (Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:03 pm )

    I am also an emotional visual thinker. For a girl, I am exceptionally good at spatial thinking. Still I have a limited imagination. I see the general picture... I can zoom in, I can peak around corners, I can see the expressions on the faces of people, I can zoom in on the face and hear the person breathe but when I really look at it, there are no details. I could never draw it. There is a face with a very distinct expression but no lips, nose, eyebrows. But the expression is so strong, that I could almost read her thoughts.
    The visualizing is fun with molecules (my favourite image), because I can hear the electrons whooshing by when I get close enough. All the pictures have some emotion attached to them. I feel the emotion before I get a chance to even think about it. Many things don't even need words to be understandable to me, the picture is enough to remind me of everything about it.

    Bad side of all this: exceptionally bad memory. I can't describe people, can't remember their names, don't know many birthdays (not even close friends). Studying is hard. I have to visualize and deeply understand everything to remember. Nothing to visualize when studying history (names, places, dates, years... awful). I can only memorize things by hearing them many times (PS! Poor boyfriend... I sometimes make him read Latin out loud over and over and over again. )

    different. i can feel the emotions, but only my own, and sometimes others. most pictures are silent unless i concentrate. i can pin point a problem based on sound by making a picture of what it sounds like in my head.

    i can remember a face - but only where i saw it last. it will appear in a flash. lately what i do for name recall, is to pop them up visually in my head. then try to spit out a name as fast i can. usually i can remember a name after 7 seconds - but by then they're behind me. often it never get's to my mouth in time.

    when people speak i have to make a mental image of the events. often many parts are removed or not even heard. i get out of jury duty because of this - tell them you don't remember stuff, and out you go. but you have to show up.

    birthdays, i know more or less what quarter their in. i remember my own. and as for studying - i wish i had the internet when i was a kid. i would be much better off. it's so easy to look up and cross reference things. i've found that as long as i understand each side of a problem, i can remember it pretty well. i won't remember "The raven" by edgar allen poe - but do remember the simpsons version...

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