What did you have in mind? Examining the content of intentional and unintentional types of mind wandering.
It has recently been argued that researchers should distinguish between mind wandering (MW) that is engaged with and without intention. Supporting this argument, studies have found that intentional and unintentional MW have behavioral/neural differences, and that they are differentially associated with certain variables of theoretical interest. Although there have been considerable inroads made into the distinction between intentional/unintentional MW, possible differences in their content remain unexplored. To determine whether these two types of MW differ in content, we had participants complete a task during which they categorized their MW as intentional or unintentional, and then provided responses to questions about the content of their MW. Results indicated that intentional MW was more frequently rated as being future-oriented and less vague than unintentional MW. These findings shed light on the nature of intentional and unintentional MW and provide support for the argument that researchers should distinguish between intentional and unintentional types.
Seli, P; Ralph, BCW; Konishi, M; Smilek, D; Schacter, DL
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