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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44423. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044423. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Mind wandering in Chinese daily lives--an experience sampling study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, China. xlsong@zjnu.cn

Abstract

Mind wandering has recently received extensive research because it reveals an important characteristic of our consciousness: conscious experience can arise internally and involuntarily. As the first attempt to examine mind wandering in a non-western population, the present study used experience-sampling method to collect the daily momentary mind wandering episodes in a Chinese sample. The results showed that mind wandering was also a ubiquitous experience among the Chinese population, and, instead of emerging out of nowhere, it was often elicited by external or internal cues. Furthermore, most of the mind wandering episodes involved prospective thinking and were closely related to one's personal life. Finally, the frequency of mind wandering was influenced by some contextual factors. These results taken together suggest that mind wandering plays an important role in helping people to maintain a continuous feeling of "self" and to prepare them to cope with the upcoming events.

PMID:
22957071
PMCID:
PMC3434139
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0044423
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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