Publication 6589

Heavey C. L. & Hurlburt R. T. (2008) The phenomena of inner experience. Consciousness and Cognition 17(3): 798–810. Fulltext at
This study provides a survey of phenomena that present themselves during moments of naturally occurring inner expe- rience. In our previous studies using Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) we have discovered five frequently occurring phenomena – inner speech, inner seeing, unsymbolized thinking, feelings, and sensory awareness. Here we quantify the rel- ative frequency of these phenomena. We used DES to describe 10 randomly identified moments of inner experience from each of 30 participants selected from a stratified sample of college students. We found that each of the five phenomena occurred in approximately one quarter of sampled moments, that the frequency of these phenomena varied widely across individuals, that there were no significant gender differences in the relative frequencies of these phenomena, and that higher frequencies of inner speech were associated with lower levels of psychological distress.


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