[gov3009-l] Killingsworth on "Mind Wandering and Happiness"

Matt Blackwell mblackwell at iq.harvard.edu
Mon Feb 22 13:38:04 EST 2010


Hello,

We hope you will join us this Wednesday, February 24th at the Applied
Statistics workshop when we will be happy to have Matt Killingsworth
(Department of Psychology). Details and an abstract are below. A light
lunch will be served. Thanks!

"Mind Wandering and Happiness
Matt Killingsworth
Department of Psychology
February 24th, 2010, 12 noon
K354 CGIS Knafel (1737 Cambridge St)

ABSTRACT:
Although humans spend much of their time mind-wandering, i.e.,
thinking about something other than what one is actually doing, little
is known about mind wandering's relation to human happiness.  Using
novel technology to achieve the world's largest experience sampling
study of people's everyday lives, we found that participants spent
nearly half of their waking hours mind-wandering and that it had large
effects on happiness.  Mind wandering was never observed to increase
happiness and often reduced happiness considerably.  Although some
activities and situations modestly decreased the probability of mind
wandering, they generally did not buffer against negative thoughts
when a person's mind did stray from the present.


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