Does Temperature Influence People’s Propensity to Mind-Wander?
AbstractThis study investigated the possibility that exposure to different temperatures may influence people’s tendency to engage in mind wandering and their ability to sustain their attention while completing a laboratory task. To explore these possibilities, participants completed a continuous performance task (CPT) in one of three conditions (cool, optimal, or hot temperatures), and while completing the task, their tendency to engage in mind wandering was assessed with experience-sampling probes. Results indicated that, whereas rates of mind wandering did not vary as a function of temperature condition, sustained-attention performance on the CPT did. Participants completing the CPT in the hot condition performed the most poorly, followed by those in the optimal condition, followed by those in the cool condition. These findings suggest that, although temperature does not appear to influence people’s propensity to mind-wander, relatively hot temperatures contribute to sustained-attention decrements, and cold temperatures contribute to enhanced sustained-attention abilities.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37945133