|Weekly News Digest
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APA Touts the Benefits of Letting Your Mind Wander
The American Psychological Association (APA) shared a journal article it published, “Thinking About Thinking: People Underestimate How Enjoyable and Engaging Just Waiting Is,” in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. APA notes:
In a series of six experiments with a total of 259 participants, the researchers compared people’s predictions of how much they would enjoy simply sitting and thinking with their actual experience of doing so. In the first experiment, they asked people to predict how much they would enjoy sitting alone with their thoughts for 20 minutes, without being allowed to do anything distracting such as reading, walking around or looking at a smartphone. Afterward, participants reported how much they had enjoyed it.
The researchers found that people enjoyed spending time with their thoughts significantly more than they had predicted. This held true across variations of the experiment in which participants sat in a bare conference room or in a small, dark tented area with no visual stimulation; variations in which the thinking period lasted for three minutes or for 20 minutes; and one variation in which the researchers asked people to report on their enjoyment midway through the task instead of after it was over. In every case, participants enjoyed thinking more than they had expected to.
For more information, read the press release.
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