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date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Mind-wandering encompasses a variety of different types of thought, involving various different experiential qualities, emotions, and cognitive processes. Much is lost by simply lumping them together, as is typically done in the literature. The goal of this chapter is to explore the nuances that distinguish different types of mind-wandering. The chapter draws on research on mind-wandering as well as other literatures to gain a better understanding of how these different types of mind-wandering affect cognition and behavior. It specifically discusses the distinct effects of different types of mind-wandering on task performance, working memory, mood, and creativity. Finally, the chapter discusses the idea of deliberate engagement in particular types of mind-wandering as a way to achieve desirable outcomes, such as maintaining a positive mood, enhancing creativity, or aiding decision-making.

Keywords: mind-wandering, cognition, behavior, creativity, working memory, decision-making

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