Integrative Mechanics of Mind Wandering and their Effect on Creativity
Haverford College. Department of Psychology
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
Previous literature has many rich findings on the mechanisms, implications and effects of mind-wandering. For example, Baird et. al (2012) found that mind-wandering can facilitate creativity. Furthermore, Miles et. al (2010) have found that the directionality of one’s mind-wandering can be influenced by temporal primes. We attempt to replicate these findings in our study in addition to analyzing other potential factors influencing mind-wandering, such as mood and intentionality of mind-wandering sessions. The introduction presents a comprehensive review explaining theoretical and neurological mechanisms of mind-wandering, followed by literature reviews on how mood, intentionality and other elements of mind wandering operate. Though we were unable to replicate Baird’s and Miles’s studies, our study indicates a relation between being presented with forward motion and sustained mind-wandering sessions. Furthermore, high levels of alpha power have a positive relationship with increasing fluency scores on the Uunusual Use Task. Though previous literature indicates correlations between non-positive moods and past-oriented mind-wandering, we failed to find a correlation between the directionality of one’s mind-wandering and mood. Additional findings are also discussed to provide a more complete picture on how an individual can utilize mind-wandering as a tool to enhance their creativity.