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The diversity of mind wandering : The role of individual differences and cognitive factors

Marcusson-Clavertz, David LU (2016)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Variation i dagdrömmar: Individuella skillnader och kognitiva

faktorers roll Människor spenderar en stor del av sin vakna tid åt att tänka på saker som är orelaterade till den uppgift de håller på med eller den omgivning de befinner sig i (dagdrömmar). Under tiden man jobbar, läser en tidning, eller väntar på bussen kan man

exempelvis börja tänka på något trevligt man ska göra nästa helg eller en tidigare deprimerande händelse som upprör en. Dagdrömmar är förenade med både fördelar (t.ex. att förbereda sig inför framtiden) och nackdelar (t.ex. att prestationen försämras på den uppgift man håller på med) och det är därför viktigt att förstå hur dagdrömmar

regleras. Denna... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Variation i dagdrömmar: Individuella skillnader och kognitiva

faktorers roll Människor spenderar en stor del av sin vakna tid åt att tänka på saker som är orelaterade till den uppgift de håller på med eller den omgivning de befinner sig i (dagdrömmar). Under tiden man jobbar, läser en tidning, eller väntar på bussen kan man

exempelvis börja tänka på något trevligt man ska göra nästa helg eller en tidigare deprimerande händelse som upprör en. Dagdrömmar är förenade med både fördelar (t.ex. att förbereda sig inför framtiden) och nackdelar (t.ex. att prestationen försämras på den uppgift man håller på med) och det är därför viktigt att förstå hur dagdrömmar

regleras. Denna avhandling innehåller fyra studier som syftar till att öka vår kunskap om individuella skillnader i dagdrömmar genom att undersöka betydelsen av uppmärksamhetskontroll och affekt.



Individuella skillnader i uppmärksamhetskontroll visar sig bl.a. i hur lätt man har för att hämma olämpliga beteenden, uppdatera information i arbetsminnet, eller att växla mellan olika uppgifter. Tidigare forskning har visat att människor med lägre uppmärksamhetskontroll dagdrömmer mer än andra, men sambandet är svagt och det är möjligt att olika dagdrömmar regleras på olika sätt. Individer varierar i vilken utsträckning de finner dagdrömmar trevliga och hjälpsamma (positiv dagdrömsstil) eller deprimerande och upprörande (negativ dagdrömsstil).



Studie 1 indikerade att sambandet mellan dagdrömmar och uppmärksamhetskontroll i form av arbetsminnekapacitet var olika beroende på om man hade en negativ dagdrömsstil eller ej: Arbetsminnekapacitet var negativt relaterat till dagdrömmar för de

med hög-negativ dagdrömsstil och positivt för de med låg-negativ dagdrömsstil. Resultaten visade däremot inget sådant samband för den positiva dagdrömsstilen. Studie 2 visade att individer med högre emotionell instabilitet eller lägre självregleringsförmåga dagdrömde mer än andra. Studien fann inte stöd för antagandet att människor med högre förmåga att växla mellan uppgifter oftare skiftar till mer

positiva dagdrömmar när de gör uppgifter som kräver relativt lite uppmärksamhet.



Studie 3 visade att människor med hög dissociation (dvs. de som t.ex. har upplevelser av att vara frånkopplade från sina tankar, känslor, eller kropp) eller hög mottaglighet för hypnos dagdrömde mer än andra. Resultaten indikerade att dagdrömmar utmärktes av låg kontroll/medvetenhet om vad man nyss tänkte på, och att detta samband var starkast hos de med hög dissociation och hög mottaglighet för

hypnos. Studie 4 testade om vuxna individer med traumatiska upplevelser i barndomen varierade i dagdrömmande beroende på om de hade olösta traumatiska händelser i barndomen, men fann inget sådant samband. Däremot bekräftade studien tidigare resultat som visat att dagdrömmar ofta karakteriseras av låg kontroll/medvetenhet, hög

dissociation, och hög negativ affekt.



Sammantaget bidrar resultaten i den här avhandlingen till att förena olika kognitiva teorier om dagdrömmar och belyser vikten av att beakta variationen i dagdrömmars innehåll när man försöker förstå dessa i förhållande till uppmärksamhetskontroll och olika personlighetsegenskaper. Jag föreslår att det finns olika underkategorier av dagdrömmar som verkar genom olika kognitiva processer. En kategori är mer vanligt förekommande hos människor som är dissociativa och mottagliga för hypnos. Den utmärks av neutral eller negativ affekt, låg arbetsminneskapacitet och låg

självregleringsförmåga. En annan kategori som utmärks av positiv affekt är mindre klar i sin relation till uppmärksamhetskontroll. (Less)
Abstract
Many individuals spend a substantial portion of their waking time thinking about topics unrelated to current activities and surroundings (mind wandering). This dissertation sought to contribute to our knowledge of why some people mind wander more than others. Mind wandering in cognitive tasks is more common in individuals

with poor executive cognitive control (working memory updating, inhibiting task-inappropriate response, shifting between tasks), but these studies have paid little attention to the variety of contents of mind wandering and individual differences moderators. Individuals vary in how much they find their mind wandering enjoyable or

helpful (a positive mind wandering style) or dysphoric and anguished (a... (More)
Many individuals spend a substantial portion of their waking time thinking about topics unrelated to current activities and surroundings (mind wandering). This dissertation sought to contribute to our knowledge of why some people mind wander more than others. Mind wandering in cognitive tasks is more common in individuals

with poor executive cognitive control (working memory updating, inhibiting task-inappropriate response, shifting between tasks), but these studies have paid little attention to the variety of contents of mind wandering and individual differences moderators. Individuals vary in how much they find their mind wandering enjoyable or

helpful (a positive mind wandering style) or dysphoric and anguished (a negative style).



Paper I tested whether positive or negative styles of mind wandering moderated the relation between executive control and mind wandering, which could help reconcile two cognitive hypotheses of mind wandering. The control-failure hypothesis suggests that

mind wandering occurs because of disruptions in executive control, whereas the global availability hypothesis suggests that the availability of executive resources fosters mind wandering. The results indicated that the relation between working memory capacity

and mind wandering depended on a negative mind wandering style: Those individuals with a high-negative mind wandering style exhibited a negative relation between working memory and mind wandering (consistent with the control-failure hypothesis), whereas the relation was positive in those with a low-negative style (consistent with the global availability hypothesis).



Paper II evaluated affect and cognitive variables by relating mind wandering during a signal detection task to individual differences in negative affectivity (neuroticism) and self-regulatory abilities. Mind wandering was associated with neuroticism and low effortful control, but not with shifting ability. Regression analyses indicated that effortful control predicted lower neutral mind wandering whereas neuroticism predicted negative mind wandering. The subsequent two papers extended this research by examining mind wandering, affect, and control in selected populations.



A trait relevant to attentional control and negative affect is dissociation, which includes amnesia and experiential disconnectedness from self/others (detachment). Paper III evaluated everyday mentation in people scoring high or low in dissociation

and in hypnotic suggestibility (hypnotizability). Mind wandering episodes were characterized by a reduced sense of control/awareness of mentations, especially in those scoring high on both hypnotizability and dissociation.



Paper IV applied attachment theory to study everyday mentations in adults with childhood exposures to traumatizing events. A negative mind wandering style and everyday experiences of dissociation, negative affect, and low control/awareness were associated with a self-report, but not a discourse, measure of unresolved/disorganized

attachment. The latter construct did not predict overall amount of mind wandering.



The results of this dissertation help integrate cognitive hypotheses of mind wandering within broader cognitive, affective, and developmental frameworks. I suggest that mind wandering consists of different subtypes that operate through different cognitive processes in which one is characterized by neutral or negative affect, poor working memory monitoring, and low effortful control, and appears more often in high dissociative/ high hypnotizable individuals, whereas another subtype is characterized by positive affect but is less clear in its relation to executive functioning. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Moskowitz, Andrew, Aarhus University, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
mind wandering, daydreaming, executive control, experience sampling, dissociative experiences, attachment
defense location
Palaestra nedre sal, Paradisgatan 4, Lund
defense date
2016-01-22 13:15
ISBN
978-91-7623-601-7 (pdf)
978-91-7623-600-0 (print)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dcc6afc4-bf88-4762-9ae9-7f02069ece27 (old id 8411720)
date added to LUP
2016-01-04 11:25:07
date last changed
2017-02-15 16:33:13
@phdthesis{dcc6afc4-bf88-4762-9ae9-7f02069ece27,
  abstract     = {Many individuals spend a substantial portion of their waking time thinking about topics unrelated to current activities and surroundings (mind wandering). This dissertation sought to contribute to our knowledge of why some people mind wander more than others. Mind wandering in cognitive tasks is more common in individuals<br/><br>
with poor executive cognitive control (working memory updating, inhibiting task-inappropriate response, shifting between tasks), but these studies have paid little attention to the variety of contents of mind wandering and individual differences moderators. Individuals vary in how much they find their mind wandering enjoyable or<br/><br>
helpful (a positive mind wandering style) or dysphoric and anguished (a negative style).<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Paper I tested whether positive or negative styles of mind wandering moderated the relation between executive control and mind wandering, which could help reconcile two cognitive hypotheses of mind wandering. The control-failure hypothesis suggests that<br/><br>
mind wandering occurs because of disruptions in executive control, whereas the global availability hypothesis suggests that the availability of executive resources fosters mind wandering. The results indicated that the relation between working memory capacity<br/><br>
and mind wandering depended on a negative mind wandering style: Those individuals with a high-negative mind wandering style exhibited a negative relation between working memory and mind wandering (consistent with the control-failure hypothesis), whereas the relation was positive in those with a low-negative style (consistent with the global availability hypothesis).<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Paper II evaluated affect and cognitive variables by relating mind wandering during a signal detection task to individual differences in negative affectivity (neuroticism) and self-regulatory abilities. Mind wandering was associated with neuroticism and low effortful control, but not with shifting ability. Regression analyses indicated that effortful control predicted lower neutral mind wandering whereas neuroticism predicted negative mind wandering. The subsequent two papers extended this research by examining mind wandering, affect, and control in selected populations. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
A trait relevant to attentional control and negative affect is dissociation, which includes amnesia and experiential disconnectedness from self/others (detachment). Paper III evaluated everyday mentation in people scoring high or low in dissociation<br/><br>
and in hypnotic suggestibility (hypnotizability). Mind wandering episodes were characterized by a reduced sense of control/awareness of mentations, especially in those scoring high on both hypnotizability and dissociation. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Paper IV applied attachment theory to study everyday mentations in adults with childhood exposures to traumatizing events. A negative mind wandering style and everyday experiences of dissociation, negative affect, and low control/awareness were associated with a self-report, but not a discourse, measure of unresolved/disorganized<br/><br>
attachment. The latter construct did not predict overall amount of mind wandering.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The results of this dissertation help integrate cognitive hypotheses of mind wandering within broader cognitive, affective, and developmental frameworks. I suggest that mind wandering consists of different subtypes that operate through different cognitive processes in which one is characterized by neutral or negative affect, poor working memory monitoring, and low effortful control, and appears more often in high dissociative/ high hypnotizable individuals, whereas another subtype is characterized by positive affect but is less clear in its relation to executive functioning.},
  author       = {Marcusson-Clavertz, David},
  isbn         = {978-91-7623-601-7 (pdf)},
  keyword      = {mind wandering,daydreaming,executive control,experience sampling,dissociative experiences,attachment},
  language     = {eng},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {The diversity of mind wandering : The role of individual differences and cognitive factors},
  year         = {2016},
}