Jonathan Schooler

Jonathan Schooler
University of California, Santa Barbara | UCSB · Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Ph.D.

About

285
Publications
360,754
Reads
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24,846
Citations
Citations since 2016
105 Research Items
13851 Citations
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Additional affiliations
January 2008 - December 2013
University of California, Santa Barbara
January 2005 - December 2009
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
January 1988 - December 2005
Education
September 1977 - May 1981
Hamilton College
Field of study

Publications

Publications (285)
Article
Can watching avant-garde film temporarily shift individuals’ thinking styles? What factors influence how individuals respond to avant-garde films? The perception of meaning is a critical element in the positive reception of visual artworks and may be an important mediating step in influencing creative thought. This highlights a unique problem for a...
Preprint
Throughout history, new technological/societal changes have been viewed with suspicion, their influences interpreted as damaging, corrupting, a potential cause of societal downfall. The youth of the day are particularly seen as the victims of such developments. Why do we keep seeing technology/societal change as being harmful to young people? Two s...
Article
If explicitly, blatantly dehumanizing a group of people—overtly characterizing them as less than human—facilitates harming them, then reversing this process is paramount. Addressing dehumanization among American political partisans appears especially crucial, given that it has been linked to their anti-democratic hostility. Perhaps because of its o...
Article
Full-text available
Ever since some scientists and popular media put forward the idea that free will is an illusion, the question has risen what would happen if people stopped believing in free will. Psychological research has investigated this question by testing the consequences of experimentally weakening people’s free will beliefs. The results of these investigati...
Article
Full-text available
The behavioral immune system (BIS) is an evolved psychological mechanism that motivates prophylactic avoidance of disease vectors by eliciting disgust. When felt toward social groups, disgust can dampen empathy and promote dehumanization. Therefore, we investigated whether the BIS facilitates the dehumanization of groups associated with disease by...
Article
Full-text available
Adults perceive the youth of the present as being worse than from when they were young. This phenomenon has been shown to be a product of a memory bias, adults are unable to accurately recall what children were like in the past so they impose their current selves onto their memories. In two studies using American adults ( N = 2,764), we seek to con...
Preprint
Researchers since the 1950s have invested a great deal in creating “gold standard” creativity assessments that can be administered in a controlled laboratory setting. Despite the successes in developing reliable and widely used instruments, these efforts have come at the cost of not using ecologically- and face-valid tasks. In this paper, we descri...
Article
Full-text available
Epistemic curiosity—the desire for knowledge—is typically thought to benefit learning. In four preregistered studies, we show that interest curiosity, a facet of epistemic curiosity characterized by joyful exploration, is indeed associated with traits and abilities that benefit learning. These include general knowledge, intellectual humility, and d...
Preprint
Verbalizing visual memories can interfere with later accurate recall. Whereas changes in the magnitude of this Verbal Overshadowing effect as a function of delay have been reported, no study has systematically investigated multiple shorter non-immediate delays. Does VOE happen when verbalization occurs 5-minutes post-encoding? 10-minutes? 15-minute...
Article
Tools and tests for measuring the presence and complexity of consciousness are becoming available, but there is no established theoretical approach for what these tools are measuring. This article examines several categories of tests for making reasonable inferences about the presence and complexity of consciousness (defined as the capacity for phe...
Article
The conceptual overlap between mind-wandering and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related impairments is considerable, yet little experimental research examining this overlap among children is available. The current study aims to experimentally manipulate mind-wandering among children with and without ADHD and examine effects on tas...
Article
Full-text available
Our basic beliefs about reality can be impossible to prove and yet we can feel a strong intuitive conviction about them, as exemplified by insights that imbue an idea with immediate certainty. Here we presented participants with worldview beliefs such as “people’s core qualities are fixed” and simultaneously elicited an aha moment. In the first exp...
Preprint
Do you persist as the same person over time because you keep the same mind or because you keep the same body? Philosophers have long investigated this question of personal identity with thought experiments. Cognitive scientists have joined this tradition by assessing lay intuitions about those cases. Much of this work has focused on judgments of id...
Article
Background: Controversy surrounds psychedelics and their potential to boost creativity. To date, psychedelic studies lack a uniform conceptualization of creativity and methodologically rigorous designs. Aims: This study aimed at addressing previous issues by examining the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on creativity using multimodal...
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Full-text available
When people talk about their values they refer to what is meaningful to them. Although meaning is associated with life satisfaction, previous studies report inconsistent results regarding the association of values and well-being. A cross-sectional study (N = 276) addresses the research question, do values influence experiences of meaning and subjec...
Preprint
Dehumanization, the belief that other people are less than fully human, dampens empathy, increases animosity, and catalyzes conflict between groups. Research has revealed that a troubling number of American partisans blatantly dehumanize members of the other party. Nonetheless, this research has also found that partisans substantially overestimate...
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Full-text available
Although research suggests that phone usage during academic activities is problematic for learning and performance, little is known about high school students’ digital multitasking during homework. This exploratory descriptive study surveyed 135 students from four public U.S. high schools to investigate teenagers’ attitudes towards digital distract...
Article
As research on mind wandering has accelerated, the construct's defining features have expanded and researchers have begun to examine different dimensions of mind wandering. Recently, Christoff and colleagues have argued for the importance of investigating a hitherto neglected variety of mind wandering: "unconstrained thought," or, thought that is r...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our basic beliefs about reality can be impossible to prove and yet we can feel a strong intuitive conviction for them, as exemplified by insights that imbue an idea with immediate certainty. Here we presented participants with worldviews such as “people’s core qualities are fixed”, and simultaneously elicited an aha moment. In the first experiment...
Article
Full-text available
The present research directly replicates past work suggesting that metadehumanization, the perception that another group dehumanizes your own group, erodes Americans’ support for democratic norms. In the days surrounding the 2020 US Presidential Election, American political partisans perceived that their political opponents dehumanized them more th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our basic beliefs about reality can be impossible to prove and yet we can feel a strong intuitive conviction for them, as exemplified by insights that imbue an idea with immediate certainty. Here we presented participants with worldviews such as “people’s core qualities are fixed”, and simultaneously elicited an aha moment. In the first experiment...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our basic beliefs about reality can be impossible to prove and yet we can feel a strong intuitive conviction for them, as exemplified by insights that imbue an idea with immediate certainty. Here we presented participants with worldviews such as “people’s core qualities are fixed”, and simultaneously elicited an aha moment. In the first experiment...
Preprint
What are the daydreams of creative individuals like? Do they reflect the daydreamer’s level of creativity? To answer this question, this research examines the daydreams of creative writers and ordinary people. Among several daydream qualities, the research focused particularly on curiosity, or the extent to which daydreams revolve around unresolved...
Preprint
Epistemic curiosity (the desire for knowledge) is considered a catalyst for learning and innovation. The current research reveals another, darker side of curiosity, which emerges when we examine the independent contributions of the two facets that make up epistemic curiosity—interest and deprivation curiosity. In four preregistered studies (collect...
Article
Full-text available
Insight experiences are sudden, persuasive, and can accompany valuable new ideas in science and art. In this preregistered experiment, we aim to validate a novel visceral and continuous measure of insight problem solving and to test whether real-time and embodied feelings of insight can predict correct solutions. We report several findings. Consist...
Article
According to the attentional resources account, mind wandering (or “task-unrelated thought”) is thought to compete with a focal task for attentional resources. Here, we tested two key predictions of this account: First, that mind wandering should not interfere with performance on a task that does not require attentional resources; second, that as t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Whether free will exists is a longstanding philosophical debate. Cognitive neuroscience and popular media have been putting forward the idea that free will is an illusion, raising the question of what would happen if people stopped believing in free will altogether. Psychological research has investigated this question by testing the consequences o...
Article
Humans spend a considerable portion of their lives engaged in ‘stimulus-independent thoughts' (SIT), or mental activity that occurs independently of input from the immediate external environment. Although such SITs are, by definition, different from thoughts that are driven by stimuli in one's external environment (i.e. stimulus-dependent thoughts;...
Article
Full-text available
A core goal in cognitive neuroscience is identifying the physical substrates of the patterns of thought that occupy our daily lives. Contemporary views suggest that the landscape of ongoing experience is heterogeneous and can be influenced by features of both the person and the context. This perspective piece considers recent work that explicitly a...
Article
Full-text available
Metadehumanization, the perception that members of an outgroup dehumanize your group, has been found to exacerbate intergroup conflict by inspiring reciprocal dehumanization of the offending outgroup. Moreover, metadehumanization is distinct from metaprejudice (i.e., the perception that an outgroup hates your group). Given the mutual animosity repo...
Chapter
Full-text available
A classic definition of intrusive thinking is “any distinct, identifiable cognitive event that is unwanted, unintended, and recurrent. It interrupts the fl ow of thought, interferes in task performance, is associated with negative affect, and is difficult to control” (Clark 2005:4). While easy to understand and applicable to many cases, this defini...
Preprint
Failures to replicate evidence of new discoveries have forced scientists to ask whether this unreliability is due to suboptimal implementation of optimal methods or whether presumptively optimal methods are not, in fact, optimal. This paper reports an investigation by four coordinated laboratories of the prospective replicability of 16 novel experi...
Article
Curiosity—the desire to know—is a powerful motivator for learning and behavior. Theoretical and anecdotal discussions have also linked curiosity to creativity and innovation, but there is little empirical evidence for this connection, aside from a handful of recent studies. We review the existing evidence and discuss potential mechanisms through wh...
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Full-text available
People often fail to keep their mind from wandering. Here, we examine how the tendency to mind wander is affected by people’s beliefs, or lay theories. Building on research on lay theories and self-regulation, we test whether differences in people’s beliefs about the extent to which mind wandering is controllable affect thought control strategies a...
Article
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During academic activities, adolescents must manage both the internal distraction of mind-wandering and the external distraction of digital media. Attention training has emerged as a promising strategy for minimizing these distractions, but scalable interventions that can deliver effective attention training in high schools are still needed. The pr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Perhaps it is no accident that “Eureka” moments accompany some of humanity’s most important discoveries in science, medicine, and art. Ideas often appear unexpectedly in the human mind, so we must possess some capacity for appraising the idea in order to use it efficiently. Here we describe an account where the feeling of insight plays this adaptiv...
Article
Full-text available
Cognition is dynamic and involves both the maintenance of and transitions between neurocognitive states. While recent research has identified some of the neural systems involved in sustaining task states, it is less well understood how intrinsic influences on cognition emerge over time. The current study uses fMRI and Multi-Dimensional Experience S...
Preprint
When do people believe that biological explanations, such as genes, brain damage, or abnormal hormones, mitigate punishment for crimes? We propose the way in which biology is viewed as impacting the true self of the actor—who the actor really is, deep down—is the key element for predicting biologically-based mitigation. Across four preregistered st...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Despite growing evidence demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness for physical and mental health, little is known about the barriers that dissuade individuals from practicing mindfulness. The present study sought to examine the self-regulatory barriers that most commonly prevent mid-life adults from engaging in mindfulness practice.Meth...
Preprint
Humans spend a considerable portion of their lives engaged in “stimulus-independent thoughts”(SIT), or mental activity that occurs independently of input from the immediate externalenvironment. Although such SITs are, by definition, different from thoughts that are driven bystimuli in one’s external environment (i.e., stimulus-dependent thoughts; S...
Article
Full-text available
What explanation is there when teams of researchers are unable to successfully replicate already established ‘canonical’ findings? One suggestion that has been put forward, but left largely untested, is that those researchers who fail to replicate prior studies are of low ‘expertise and diligence’ and lack the skill necessary to successfully replic...
Article
Self-regulation is widely considered as a relatively stable trait, and the extent to which it can be improved through training is unknown. This randomized controlled investigation found dramatic and enduring increases in self-regulation among college students, as measured by experience sampling, nightly journaling, and questionnaires. Participants...
Preprint
Full-text available
Perhaps it is no accident that “Eureka” moments accompany some of humanity’s most important discoveries in science, medicine, and art. Ideas often appear unexpectedly in the human mind, so we must possess some capacity for appraising the idea in order to use it efficiently. Here we describe an account where the feeling of insight plays this adaptiv...
Chapter
Artists and scientists have often linked our tenacious tendency to mind-wander or daydream (i.e., think about something other than the here and now) to our ability to generate creative ideas and artistic works. But not all daydreams lead to creative ideas. So what is the relationship between mind wandering and creativity? To answer this question, w...
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Full-text available
Some ideas that we have feel mundane, but others are imbued with a sense of profundity. We propose that Aha! moments make an idea feel more true or valuable in order to aid quick and efficient decision-making, akin to a heuristic. To demonstrate where the heuristic may incur errors, we hypothesized that facts would appear more true if they were art...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, the number of studies examining mind wandering has increased considerably, and research on the topic has spread widely across various domains of psychological research. Although the term “mind wandering” has been used to refer to various cognitive states, researchers typically operationalize mind wandering in terms of “task-unrelat...
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Full-text available
Prosociality increases when decisions are made under time pressure. Here, we investigated whether time pressure increases socially desirable responding outside social interactions (Study 1). Finding that it did, we then examined whether this is because people align their responses with the concept of their “true” self or because of an intuitive ten...
Article
Full-text available
In five preregistered studies, we assess people’s tendency to believe “kids these days” are deficient relative to those of previous generations. Across three traits, American adults ( N =3,458; Mage = 33-51 years) believe today’s youth are in decline; however, these perceptions are associated with people’s standing on those traits. Authoritarian pe...
Article
Full-text available
Synchronization, harmonization, vibrations, or simply resonance in its most general sense seems to have an integral relationship with consciousness itself. One of the possible “neural correlates of consciousness” in mammalian brains is a specific combination of gamma, beta and theta electrical synchrony. More broadly, we see similar kinds of resona...
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Full-text available
Digital mindfulness-based interventions (d-MBIs) present an unprecedented opportunity to share mindfulness training at scale. However, the feasibility of digital mindfulness training for high schools remains unknown. Using a one-group pre–post design, this feasibility study evaluated the adoption of a digital mindfulness course in a public high sch...
Article
What is the relationship between creativity, curiosity, and schizotypy? Schizophrenia-spectrum conditions and creativity have been linked to deficits in filtering sensory information, and curiosity is associated with information-seeking. This raises the possibility of a perception-based link between all three concepts. Here, we investigated whether...
Article
Meta-awareness appears to be essential to nearly all forms of mindfulness practice, and it plays a key role in processes that are central to therapeutic effects of mindfulness training, including decentering - shifting one's experiential perspective onto an experience itself - and dereification or metacognitive insight - experiencing thoughts as me...
Article
We evaluated the utility of a nonverbal, “visceral” measure of cigarette craving (squeezing a handheld dynamometer). Nicotine-deprived daily smokers (N = 202) underwent a cued (lit cigarette) cigarette-craving manipulation and recorded smoking urge in one of four conditions: (a) report urge using a traditional self-report rating scale (verbal measu...
Article
How often are creative ideas generated during episodes of mind wandering, and do they differ from those generated while on task? In two studies (N = 98, N = 87), professional writers and physicists reported on their most creative idea of the day, what they were thinking about and doing when it occurred, whether the idea felt like an “aha” moment, a...
Article
Given that countless studies have documented the wide-ranging benefits of self-regulation, determining if and how self-regulation can be improved is an important scientific and societal priority. Existing theories suggest that the deterioration of self-regulation is partially shaped by perceptions of effort. Therefore, one promising way to sustain...
Article
Digital mindfulness-based interventions (d-MBIs) present a promising path for the scalable dissemination of mindfulness instruction in the 21st century. Smartphone applications and web-based platforms can offer potential advantages over traditional face-to-face formats through enhanced accessibility, standardization, personalization, and efficacy o...
Article
The question of how to evaluate creativity in the context of creative writing has been a subject of ongoing discussion. A key question is whether something as elusive as creativity can be evaluated in a systematic way that goes beyond subjective judgments. To answer this question, we tested whether human evaluations of the creativity of short stori...