College of Psychology: Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures

Title

What the TUT? Examining the Causes and Consequences of Emotionally Valenced Mind Wandering

Event Location / Date(s)

New Orleans, LA

Document Type

Poster

Presentation Date

11-17-2018

Conference Name / Publication Title

59th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society

Description

The emotional valence of mind wandering may moderate its impact on task performance. Evidence supporting this claim has relied on examining the impact of emotional valenced mind wandering on overall performance scores. In the first study, we examined the consequences of emotionally valenced task unrelated thoughts (TUTs) on a trial-by-trial basis for high demanding and moderately demanding tasks. On high demand working memory span tasks, all TUTs predicted poorer performance on immediately preceding trials. On a moderately demanding sustained attention task, only negatively valenced TUTs predicted poorer performance on immediately preceding trials. While contextual predictors of mind wandering in real life have been explored, no research has extended this to examine predictors of emotionally valenced mind wandering. In the second study, we used an experience sampling procedure to examine predictors of emotionally valenced mind wandering. Emotional valence of the TUT moderated the predictors of mind wandering in the real world.

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