On the Necessity of Distinguishing Between Unintentional and Intentional Mind Wandering.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In recent years, there has been an enormous increase in the number of studies examining mind wandering. Although participants' reports of mind wandering are often assumed to largely reflect spontaneous, unintentional thoughts, many researchers' conceptualizations of mind wandering have left open the possibility that at least some of these reports reflect deliberate, intentional thought. Critically, however, in most investigations on the topic, researchers have not separately assessed each type of mind wandering; instead, they have measured mind wandering as a unitary construct, thereby conflating intentional and unintentional types. We report the first compelling evidence that an experimental manipulation can have qualitatively different effects on intentional and unintentional types of mind wandering. This result provides clear evidence that researchers interested in understanding mind wandering need to consider the distinction between unintentional and intentional occurrences of this phenomenon.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Seli, P; Risko, EF; Smilek, D

Published Date

  • May 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 685 - 691

PubMed ID

  • 26993740

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0956-7976

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0956797616634068


  • eng