Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Visually Auditory?

One might assume that I am an auditory listener. I liked the college classes in which the professors would just stand in the front of the class and talk. So the assumption has always been that I am a good listener.

But I'm also good with visuals. If you take me to your house one time, I will be able to draw on a piece of paper all of the turns that we took to get there. I can keep a map inside of my head.

It figures then that when people talk about what type of learner you are, I never really felt like I was a certain one. Well, how do you study, people might ask. It depended on what I was studying for (and quite frankly I really didn't study at all until I get to college; I usually didn't feel like I needed to, and since I was writing more papers than taking tests in college, there were only so many times when I did need to study for a test). Usually I would just reread the material or my notes. I might make flashcards if there were specific words or numbers to memorize. So that's both auditory and visual, right?

I took a test the other day to see what kind of learner I am and my results were 40% auditory, 40% visual, and 20% tactile. Ha, no wonder. I think what happens is that auditory becomes visual in my head. So when a professor was talking, I would picture either the words or concepts that they were saying; I made up the visual element on my own. And when something is visual, I pair it with the sounds. So if someone is giving a presentation with charts or graphs or pictures, I see the concept and I remember their voice speaking over the image. That's the thing, too: when I meet or interact with someone, I may or may not remember their name or what they looked like but I will remember their voice for years after.

For me, sound and sight tie in to one another. I hear the clock ticking and I imagine its hands moving to mark each second. The one feeds into the other. Does that mean that I lean more toward visual than auditory? Or are they really at equal levels? I mean, the distinction doesn't really matter much, but it's interesting to think about.

I tend to have very visual memories, for instance. I don't necessarily remember what someone was wearing or everything that was in the room. My memories are tied in with emotions--but I also remember spaces. So for instance, if I remember a moment when I was scared as a child, I might remember who else was there and where they were standing in relation to me and also how big the room was and what rooms were next to it and how I got into that room, that sort of thing. I can't necessarily fill in all the details of the spaces (unless it's a place I studied well or visited often), but I can remember the spaces themselves because I keep the maps inside my head.

Hmmm. This is why I like to read. The words on the page are in themselves images. I don't have a photographic memory, but sometimes I think I have a tendency towards one. I can remember where on a page a certain sentence was (and this is what people call spatial learning). Words are in fact quite tangible and living things to me.

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