4/06/2007

Our wandering mind

Some days I felt guilty because of frequent mind-wandering at work, so I find following numbers are quite comforting:
Dr. Michael Kane, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, recently sampled the thoughts of students at eight random times a day for a week. He found that on average, they were not thinking about what they were doing 30% of the time.
For some students it was between 80% and 90% of the time. Out of the 126 participants, only one denied any mind-wandering at the sampled moments. Prior work has also turned up average rates of 30% to 40% in everyday life.
It appears our mind are weired to wander. "Mind wandering is not objectively good or bad. It depends on the context in which it occurs", Dr. Kane said. Mind wandering may enable us to do multi-tasking and creative thinking. Life usually doesn't demand our full attention after all.

12 comments:

John said...

Students with wandering thoughts are quite different than workers with wandering thoughts. I hope that my co-workers are much more focused on their work than the students in the study.

By the way, I'm an air traffic controller.

John said...

I forgot to welcome you back. Hope spring break with the kids was grand.

sheila said...

Very interesting. You have a great blog, very fun to read.

The guy who knows said...

I think it's perfectly normal for ones mind to wander... like you said, life hardly ever requires our full attention. I think our minds need to wander every once in a while!

John, I think that students these days are extremely focused on their studies. Most students strive to become successful men and women. They know that the only way that they can become successful is through hard work.

Professor Howdy said...

Hello!
Very good posting.
Thank you - Have a good day!!!

Feel the Silence,This is How I Disappear said...

good one

Anonymous said...

hi - i love to read your blog - i love numbers.
i am a math teacher

Ezra J. said...

I think one of my favorite things to do is to let my mind wander. Just hop onto a website such as pointlesssites.com or blogspot and just peruse the web and think about things. I am a culinary semi-professional, and due to what the job entails, I can let my mind wander quite a bit. For example, I could be peeling potatoes or slicing dicing, or doing whatever and suddenly I'll think of a song I haven't heard or book my sister told me I should read. It helps in some ways that the culinary industry is so repetitive. When you cook for 600 teenagers, things do tend to get that way. .

Lynn Green said...

I don't think I let my mind wander all that muc. . . . say how 'bout them Cubbies

khengsiong said...

I started learning meditation more than 10 years ago. I found that my mind wander more frequent than I thought.

HEI.LAdy.n said...

another interesting post ;)

Cardinal said...

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I'll add a link to your blog on my own for sure !!!

Keep up the good work ! ;)