A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 11/2010; 330(6006):932. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192439
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We developed a smartphone technology to sample people’s ongoing thoughts, feelings, and actions and found (i) that people
are thinking about what is not happening almost as often as they are thinking about what is and (ii) found that doing so typically
makes them unhappy.

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    • "This increased attention to the present may help explain why Snapchat interactions were associated with more positive mood than several other platforms. Although our data do not speak to the direction of causality, substantial research in psychology suggest that present focus –concentrating on what one is doing as opposed to the contemplating the past or future (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010; Langer, 1989) – is associated with feelings of reward and positive mood. Furthermore, the limited time may amplify the affective response to a given message because of its perceived scarcity (Lynn, 1991). "
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    ABSTRACT: Ephemeral social media, platforms that display shared content for a limited period of time, have become a prominent component of the social ecosystem. We draw on experience sampling data collected over two weeks (Study 1; N=154) and in-depth interview data from a subsample of participants (Study 2; N = 28) to understand college students’ social and emotional experiences on Snapchat, a popular ephemeral mobile platform. Our quantitative data demonstrated that Snapchat interactions were perceived as more enjoyable – and associated with more positive mood – than other communication technologies. However, Snapchat interactions were also associated with lower social support than other channels. Our qualitative data highlighted aspects of Snapchat use that may facilitate positive affect (but not social support), including sharing mundane experiences with close ties and reduced self-presentational concerns. In addition, users compared Snapchat to face-to-face interaction and reported attending to Snapchat content more closely than archived content, which may contribute to increased emotional rewards. Overall, participants did not see the application as a platform for sharing or viewing photos; rather, Snapchat was viewed as a lightweight channel for sharing spontaneous experiences with trusted ties. Together, these studies contribute to our evolving understanding of ephemeral social media and their role in social relationships.
    Information Communication and Society 09/2015; DOI:10.1080/1369118X.2015.1084349 · 0.70 Impact Factor
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    • "On the one hand, there are general relationships between elements of nighttime dreams and daydreaming style within individuals; for example, a daydreaming style characterized by anxiety and distractibility is correlated with nighttime dreams that are highly bizarre and emotional (Starker, 1974). Further, a qualitative review of studies that have assessed the content of dreams and daydreams (Fox, Nijeboer, Solomonova, Domhoff, & Christoff, 2013) concluded that the two were similar in several respects, i.e., consisting of predominantly audiovisual sensory content (Klinger, 2009; Schredl, 2010), containing emotion (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010; Kramer, Roth, Arand, & Bonnet, 1981) reflecting current concerns and long-term memories, and lacking meta-awareness. On the other hand, dream content is distinct from waking daydreams in that dreams contain more unfamiliar settings, bizarreness, and victimization than do waking daydreams (see reviews in Fox et al., 2013; Strauch & Lederbogen, 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Differences between nighttime REM and NREM dreams are well-established but only rarely are daytime REM and NREM nap dreams compared with each other or with daydreams. Fifty-one participants took daytime naps (with REM or NREM awakenings) and provided both waking daydream and nap dream reports. They also provided ratings of their bizarreness, sensory experience, and emotion intensity. Recall rates for REM (96%) and NREM (89%) naps were elevated compared to typical recall rates for nighttime dreams (80% and 43% respectively), suggesting an enhanced circadian influence. All attribute ratings were higher for REM than for NREM dreams, replicating findings for nighttime dreams. Compared with daydreams, NREM dreams had lower ratings for emotional intensity and sensory experience while REM dreams had higher ratings for bizarreness and sensory experience. Results support using daytime naps in dream research and suggest that there occurs selective enhancement and inhibition of specific dream attributes by REM, NREM and waking state mechanisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Consciousness and Cognition 07/2015; 36:196-205. DOI:10.1016/j.concog.2015.06.012 · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    • "There is a positivity bias in mental time travel , that is , people would generate more positive events than negative events ( Walker et al . , 2003b ; Killingsworth and Gilbert , 2010 ) . This bias has been found to be stronger when thinking about the future ( Berntsen and Bohn , 2010 ) . "
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    ABSTRACT: Mental time travel refers to the ability to recall episodic past and imagine future events. The present study aimed to investigate cultural differences in mental time travel between Chinese and Australian university students. A total of 231 students (108 Chinese and 123 Australians) participated in the study. Their mental time travel abilities were measured by the Sentence Completion for Events from the Past Test (SCEPT) and the Sentence Completion for Events in the Future Test (SCEFT). Results showed that there were no cultural differences in the number of specific events generated for the past or future. Significant differences between the Chinese and Australian participants were found mainly in the emotional valence and content of the events generated. Both Chinese and Australian participants generated more specific positive events compared to negative events when thinking about the future and Chinese participants were more positive about their past than Australian participants when recalling specific events. For content, Chinese participants recalled more events about their interpersonal relationships, while Australian participants imagined more about personal future achievements. These findings shed some lights on cultural differences in episodic past and future thinking.
    Frontiers in Psychology 06/2015; 6:879. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00879 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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