Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Distracted by your mind? Individual differences in distractibility predict mind wandering

By Sophie Forster and Nilli Lavie

Abstract

Attention may be distracted from its intended focus both by stimuli in the external environment and by internally generated task-unrelated thoughts during mind wandering. However, previous attention research has focused almost exclusively on distraction by external stimuli, and the extent to which mind wandering relates to external distraction is as yet unclear. In the present study, the authors examined the relationship between individual differences in mind wandering and in the magnitude of distraction by either response-competing distractors or salient response-unrelated and task-irrelevant distractors. Self-reported susceptibility to mind wandering was found to positively correlate with task-irrelevant distraction but not with response-competition interference. These results reveal mind wandering as a manifestation of susceptibility to task-irrelevant distraction and establish a laboratory measure of general susceptibility to irrelevant distraction, including both internal and external sources

Topics: QZ
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:sro.sussex.ac.uk:45668

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (2013). 19). Distracted by Your Mind? Individual Differences in Distractibility Predict Mind Wandering.
  2. (2001). Conflict monitoring and cognitive control.
  3. (2008). Attentional capture by entirely irrelevant distractors.
  4. (1981). Counting daydreams.
  5. (1980). Validation and correlation of thought sampling with retrospective measures.
  6. (2007). For whom the mind wanders, and when: An experience-sampling study of working memory and executive control in daily life.
  7. (2009). Daydreaming and fantasizing: Thought flow and motivation. In
  8. (1995). Perceptual load as a necessary condition for selective attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance,
  9. (2006). Frontal control of attentional capture in visual search. Visual Cognition, 14, 863– 876. doi:10.1080/
  10. (1996). Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance,
  11. (2010). Why the global availability of mind-wandering necessitates resource competition: Reply to McVay and Kane
  12. (2003). Task-unrelated thought while encoding information.
  13. (2012). Insulation for daydreams: A role for tonic norepinephrine in the facilitation of internally guided thought. PLoS ONE, 7(4), Article e33706. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033706
  14. (2006). The restless mind.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.