Egocentric Speech

Michael Cole. "Alexander Romanovich Luira: Cultural Psychologist" (pp. 11-28) in Contemporary Neuropsychology and the Legacy of Luria

Piaget had earlier stimulated interest in the way small children seem to talk to themselves when playing alongside other children, suggesting that this egocentric speech is a halfway house between an early autistic stage when children fail totally to consider others in the way they behave and a later time when speech becomes properly "for another" and therefore, socialized. Such speech, because it is egocentric, was thought to be functionless, a mere indicator of underlying cognitive immaturity. Luria and Vygotsky had quite the opposite view. In their opinion, egocentric speech is rather the middle stage in a transition from speech that controls another to speech that controls oneself; it is social in its origins and functional in the role it plays in helping the child to master the problem at hand.

The experimental procedure they invented in reaction to Piaget's interpretation of egocentric speech is a good example of their general methodological strategy: Children were put in problem-solving situations that were somewhat too difficult for them, and as their theory suggested it should, egocentric speech (speech not directed specifically to another), increased.
This was an immensely influtential synopsis for me. I was able to posit that people in situations of distress reach for the mechanism of egocentric speech as a coping mechanism mainly to rehearse scenarios. I was willing to wager that "Pedagogical situations are sensory. They are also interpersonal. Because they are sensory this makes even learning by oneself interpersonal. Egocentric speech is like a dialogue between the senses"

And so for day 710