Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Conscious Cogn. 2013 Dec;22(4):1412-21. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.09.012. Epub 2013 Oct 19.

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

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The University of Sheffield, UK. Electronic address: g.poerio@sheffield.ac.uk.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

Current concerns; Experience sampling; Mental time travel; Mind-wandering; Negative mood

PMID:
24149091
DOI:
10.1016/j.concog.2013.09.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center