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Daydreaming to navigate the social world: What we know, what we don't know, and why it matters

Poerio, Giulia L and Smallwood, Jonathan (2016) 'Daydreaming to navigate the social world: What we know, what we don't know, and why it matters.' Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 10 (11). pp. 605-618. ISSN 1751-9004

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A substantial portion of daily life is spent daydreaming—that is, engaged in thought independent of, and unrelated to, goals in the external environment. We argue that this naturally occurring, unconstrained cognition is a vital, but currently underappreciated, form of social cognition that enables navigation of the social world. First, we present the results of a meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies which illustrate the shared neural basis of daydreaming and social cognition (including regions of the anterior temporal lobes and the posterior cingulate cortex). Second, we review evidence regarding the frequency, correlates, and adaptive outcomes of social daydreaming, cumulative findings that point to the adaptive value of imaging others during this offline state. We end by encouraging cross-fertilization between daydreaming research and domains of social psychology (goal pursuit, social interactions, and close relationships), which we hope will foster mutually beneficial directions for understanding the role that unconstrained thinking plays in social life.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2022 14:34
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2022 14:34

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