A fascinating Swedish study claims to show that:
…the sense of agency for speech has a strong inferential component, and that auditory feedback of one’s own voice acts as a pathway for semantic monitoring, potentially overriding other feedback loops.
The source of that quote can be found here: Speakers’ Acceptance of Real-Time Speech Exchange Indicates That We Use Auditory Feedback to Specify the Meaning of What We Say.
In an article about the study above—People Rely on What They Hear to Know What They’re Saying—lead author Andreas Lind says that he is aware that the conditions of their research did not allow for anything resembling real conversational dynamics and that he hopes to study “…situations that are more social and spontaneous — investigating, for example, how exchanged words might influence the way a… conversation develops.”
FIML partners will surely recognize that without the monitoring of their FIML practice many conversations would veer off into mutually discordant interpretations and that many of these veerings-off are due to nothing more than sloppy or ambiguous speech or listening.
If speakers have to listen to themselves to monitor what they are saying and still misspeak with surprising frequency, then instances of listeners mishearing must be even more frequent since listeners (normally) do not have any way to check what they are hearing or how they are interpreting it in real-time.
That is, listeners who do not do FIML. FIML practice is designed to correct mistakes of both speaking and listening in real-time. FIML queries must be asked quickly because speakers can only accurately remember what was in their mind when they spoke for a short period of time, usually just a few seconds.
The Swedish study showed that in a great many cases words that speakers had not spoken “were experienced as self-produced.” That is speakers can be fooled into thinking they said something they had not said. How much more does our intention for speaking get lost in the rickety dynamics of real conversation?
This study is small but I believe it is showing what happens when we speak (and listen). Most of the time, and even when we are being careful, we make a good many mistakes and base our interpretations of ourselves and others on those mistakes. I do not see another way to correct this very common problem except by doing FIML or something very much like it.
In future, I hope there will be brain scan technology that will be accurate enough to let us see how poorly our perceptions of what we are saying or hearing match reality and/or what others think we are saying or hearing.
It is amazing to me that human history has gone on for so many centuries with no one having offered a way to fix this problem which leads to so many disasters.