Date of Award
Master of Arts in General Experimental Psychology
First Reader/Committee Chair
There is no consensus on the relationship between working memory resources and mind wandering. The purpose of the current study is to investigate whether mind wandering requires working memory resources to be sustained. The resource-demanding view is that mind wandering requires working memory resources to sustain an internal train of thought (Smallwood, 2010). The resource-free view is that mind wandering is a result of executive control failures and this internal train of thought proceeds in a resource-free manner (McVay & Kane, 2010). Participants were presented with thought probes while they performed a Simon task in single and dual task conditions. From the resource-demanding view, individuals with high WMC should experience more Task unrelated thought (TUT) in single and dual task conditions compared to those with low WMC. From the resource-free view, individuals with high WMC should experience fewer TUT compared to low WMC individuals. Results indicated that, WML eliminated the Simon effect for high WMC and reduced it for low WMC group. Mind wandering was decreased in dual task conditions however there was no effect of working memory capacity on mind wandering. Also, mind wandering correlated with task performance measures for the low WMC but not high WMC group. The results of the current study do not provide strong support for either a resource-demanding or resource-free view and are discussed in terms of a context dependent relationship between WMC and mind wandering
Tsukahara, Jason Seiichi, "The Role of Working Memory Resources in Mind Wandering: The Difference Between Working Memory Capacity and Working Memory Load" (2014). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 81.