Wandering in both mind and body: individual differences in mind wandering and inattention predict fidgeting.


Journal Article

Anecdotal reports suggest that during periods of inattention or mind wandering, people tend to experience increased fidgeting. In four studies, we examined whether individual differences in the tendency to be inattentive and to mind wander in everyday life are related to the tendency to make spontaneous and involuntary movements (i.e., to fidget). To do so, we developed self-report measures of spontaneous and deliberate mind wandering, as well as a self-report scale to index fidgeting. In addition, we used several existing self-report measures of inattentiveness, attentional control, and memory failures. Across our studies, a series of multiple regression analyses indicated that fidgeting was uniquely predicted by inattentiveness and spontaneous mind wandering but not by other related factors, including deliberate mind wandering, attentional control, and memory failures. As a result, we suggest that only spontaneously wandering thoughts are related to a wandering body.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Carriere, JSA; Seli, P; Smilek, D

Published Date

  • March 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 19 - 31

PubMed ID

  • 23458548

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23458548

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-7290

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1196-1961

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/a0031438


  • eng