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TOPIC: Questionnaire issues

Questionnaire issues 3 years 8 months ago #1705

  • Mike_M
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Hi -

I have a comment about the questions in the 'Have I got Aphantasia' section. I'm referring to the second group of crowd-sourced questions rather than the VVIQ set.

The questions obviously relate to how well we can recall our other sensory experiences, apart from sight (I suppose that, just as we talk about a 'mind's eye', we should talk about a 'mind's ear' and a 'mind's nose' ;) ). However, I think the questions are too specific, and will alienate people who don't have particular experiences in common. The sensory experiences should be drawn from our everyday lives, and not require feats of memory to recall them - the issue here is not how well the memory works, but whether we can re-create sensory experience in the mind. Also, I'm not sure why there has to be all that introductory imagining - walking in a garden, etc - that's the very thing that most of us can't do well, and makes us feel defeated before we start.

For instance, in my case:
I don't eat raw apples very often - hardly at all, nowadays - so I couldn't really summon up the taste anyway. Its been decades since I fell over and grazed my knee - I wear jeans, so it just doesn't happen - it's hardly ever warm enough to wear shorts where I live ! I'm over 60, and I can no longer hear high-frequency sounds- which includes most birdsong. I happen to have a garden, and mow my own lawns, so I do know what cut grass smells like - but many people I know live in city centres and don't come across cut grass very often.

My suggestion would be to let the subject decide what sensory experiences to recall, like some of the questions in the VVIQ set. Then you can add a specific suggestion at the end, in case the subject needs a prompt. Here's the sort of thing I mean:

Think of one your favourite foods. Can you summon up the taste of it? How about chocolate ice cream? Or biting into a lemon?

Think of a piece of music you know well. Can your hear the instruments (or voices) in your mind? Can you imagine a solo instrument - a piano, a guitar, a violin?

Look at the surface of an object near you, but not in reach. Can you imagine what it would be like to run your finger across it? Try this with a few different surfaces - for instance a wall, a window, a cushion.

Think of something that smells strongly. Can you imagine the smell? How about something delicate, like a flower?

Just a thought!
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Questionnaire issues 3 years 8 months ago #1707

  • Thomas
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Brilliant post! I will work on that today.
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Questionnaire issues 3 years 7 months ago #1734

  • Nathan Buzby
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Excellent points Mike-M, I am always glad to see issues of possible ambiguity and confusion addressed! Nothing like a good collaboration to really make this site exceptional.
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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