Psychology of Creativity, Aesthetics, and the Arts (forthcoming)
AbstractA primary aim of mind-wandering research has been to understand its influence on task performance. While this research has typically highlighted the costs of mind wandering, a handful of studies have suggested that mind wandering may be beneficial in certain situations. Perhaps the most-touted benefit is that mind wandering during a creative-incubation interval facilitates creative thinking. This finding has played a critical role in the development of accounts of the adaptive value of mind wandering and its functional role, as well as potential mechanisms of mind wandering. Thus, a demonstration of the replicability of this important finding is warranted. Here, we attempted to conceptually replicate results of a highly cited laboratory-based experiment supporting this finding. However, across two studies (N = 443), we found no evidence for the claim that mind wandering during a creative-incubation interval facilitates a form of creativity associated with divergent thinking. We suggest that our failed conceptual replication stems from an inadequate characterization of mind wandering (task-unrelated thought), and that there are good reasons to think that task-unrelated thought is unlikely to be causally related to creativity. Our results cast doubt on the claim that task-unrelated thought during an incubation interval enhances divergent creativity while also offering some prescriptions for how future research might further elucidate the cognitive benefits of mind wandering.
Similar books and articles
Can the mind wander intentionally?Samuel Murray & Kristina Krasich - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (3):432-443.
The Philosophy of Mind Wandering.Irving Zachary & Thompson Evan - forthcoming - In Fox Kieran & Christoff Kalina (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Spontaneous Thought and Creativity. Oxford University Press.
The Neuroscience of Spontaneous Thought: An Evolving, Interdisciplinary Field.Andrews-Hanna Jessica, Irving Zachary C., Fox Kieran, Spreng Nathan R. & Christoff Kalina - forthcoming - In Fox Kieran & Christoff Kieran (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Spontaneous Thought and Creativity. Oxford University Press.
Mind-wandering as spontaneous thought: a dynamic framework.Christoff Kalina, Irving Zachary C., Fox Kieran, Spreng Nathan & Andrews-Hanna Jessica - 2016 - Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17:718–731.
What's in a task? Complications in the study of the task-unrelated-thought (TUT) variety of mind wandering.Samuel Murray, Kristina Krasich, Jonathan Schooler & Paul Seli - unknown - Perspectives on Psychological Science:1-50.
What Does “Mind‐Wandering” Mean to the Folk? An Empirical Investigation.Zachary C. Irving, Aaron Glasser, Alison Gopnik & Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2020
Intentional mind-wandering as intentional omission: the surrealist method.Santiago Arango-Muñoz & Juan Pablo Bermúdez - forthcoming - Synthese 199 (3-4):7727-7748.
Attention need not always apply: Mind wandering impedes explicit but not implicit sequence learning.Samuel Murray, Nicholaus Brosowsky, Jonathan Schooler & Paul Seli - 2021 - Cognition 209 (C):104530.
Mind-Wandering: A Philosophical Guide.Zachary C. Irving & Aaron Glasser - forthcoming - Philosophical Compass.
What Does “Mind‐Wandering” Mean to the Folk? An Empirical Investigation.Zachary C. Irving, Aaron Glasser, Alison Gopnik, Verity Pinter & Chandra Sripada - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (10).
The eyes know what you are thinking: Eye movements as an objective measure of mind wandering.Sarah Uzzaman & Steve Joordens - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1882-1886.
Concern-induced negative affect is associated with the occurrence and content of mind-wandering.David Stawarczyk, Steve Majerus & Arnaud D’Argembeau - 2013 - Consciousness and Cognition 22 (2):442-448.
Differential recruitment of executive resources during mind wandering.Julia W. Y. Kam & Todd C. Handy - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 26:51-63.
When is your head at? An exploration of the factors associated with the temporal focus of the wandering mind.Jonathan Smallwood, Louise Nind & Rory C. O’Connor - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):118-125.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
No citations found.
References found in this work
The associative basis of the creative process.Sarnoff Mednick - 1962 - Psychological Review 69 (3):220-232.
Mind-wandering is unguided attention: accounting for the “purposeful” wanderer.Zachary Irving - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):547-571.
Back to the future: Autobiographical planning and the functionality of mind-wandering.Benjamin Baird, Jonathan Smallwood & Jonathan W. Schooler - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1604-1611.