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Mind-wandering and negative mood: does one thing really lead to another?

Poerio, Giulia L and Totterdell, Peter and Miles, Eleanor (2013) 'Mind-wandering and negative mood: does one thing really lead to another?' Consciousness and Cognition, 22 (4). pp. 1412-1421. ISSN 1053-8100

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Mind-wandering is closely connected with negative mood. Whether negative mood is a cause or consequence of mind-wandering remains an important, unresolved, issue. We sought to clarify the direction of this relationship by measuring mood before and after mind-wandering. We also measured the affective content, time-orientation and relevance of mind-wandering to current concerns to explore whether the link between mind-wandering and negative mood might be explained by these characteristics. A novel experience-sampling technique with smartphone application prompted participants to answer questions about mind-wandering and mood across 7 days. While sadness tended to precede mind-wandering, mind-wandering itself was not associated with later mood and only predicted feeling worse if its content was negative. We also found prior sadness predicted retrospective mind-wandering, and prior negative mood predicted mind-wandering to current concerns. Our findings provide new insight into how mood and mind-wandering relate but suggest mind-wandering is not inherently detrimental to well-being.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Affect; Thinking; Attention; Time Factors; Adult; Female; Male; Young Adult
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2022 15:07
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2022 15:07

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