Mind-Wandering Across the Age Gap: Age-Related Differences in Mind-Wandering Are Partially Attributable to Age-Related Differences in Motivation.
A common finding in the mind-wandering literature is that older adults (OAs) tend to mind-wander less frequently than young adults (YAs). Here, we sought to determine whether this age-related difference in mind-wandering is attributable to age-related differences in motivation.
YAs and OAs completed an attention task during which they responded to thought probes that assessed rates of mind-wandering, and they provided self-reports of task-based motivation before and after completion of the attention task.
Age-related differences in mind-wandering are partially explained by differences in motivation, and motivating YAs via incentive diminishes mind-wandering differences across these groups.
We consider these results in the context of theories on age-related differences in mind wandering, with a specific focus on their relevance to the recently proposed motivational account of such age-related differences.
Seli, P; O'Neill, K; Carriere, JSA; Smilek, D; Beaty, RE; Schacter, DL
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