Unhappy wanderings: further evidence of a link between mind-wandering and negative affect

Once again, mind-wandering has made headlines. A study by Killingsworth and Gilbert published in the journal Science has shown that one important consequence of mind-wandering is that when it happens people are usually unhappy.  This study complements previous studies that have shown  links with chronic low mood and experimentally induced mood in the lab (see the section on mood in Experimental Articles for examples).  While conclusions about whether mind-wandering causes low mood or vice versa remain an open question, the study does underline how mind-wandering is strongly linked to states of negative affect.

For discussions of this in the popular press see:

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/11/daydreaming-is-a-downer.html?rss=1

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19715-iphone-app-reveals-the-emotional-downside-of-daydreams.html)

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