Sunday, August 05, 2007

Daydreaming

As a PS to my earlier post about the wandering mind, here is a survey by Malia Mason, a psychologist at Columbia University, who wants to know where your mind wanders. She'll tell you afterwards how your daydreams compare with others

(12 questions, takes about 3 minutes). My results:

You spend more time than the average individual ‘lost in thought’ or mind-wandering.

The 'average individual' taking the survey that is. I suspect the amount of mind-wandering is only partly psychologically triggered, and strongly influenced by our culture and values of the society we live in. The busier our lives get, the less time and opportunity there is for daydreaming. People get fired for it!

You spend quite a bit of time engaged in ‘mental time travel’. In other words, you spend a significant amount of time thinking of events and people that are removed from the present.

Baryogenesis? The endstate of black hole evaporation? If I had half an hour with GWB I'd tell him...

You spend more time than most people considering events that are going to happen in the distant future.

Predictions, folks, predictions...

You are a social butterfly! You tend to think about your interactions with other people more than the average daydreamer while absorbed in internal thought.

I tend to think somebody has drawn a wrong conclusion from a probably correct statement. The only way in which I'm a social butterfly is that I wish I could fly away.

Your daydreams are less visual than the average daydreamer. You tend to ‘see’ people, places and events ‘in your head’ less than most do.

Well, they had no question that referred to equations...

Your daydreams are more creative than most.

I occasionally wonder though exactly what they create besides confusion.

13 comments:

amaragraps said...

Dear Bee: Your results are a lot more interesting than mine! Which are:

"You spend less time than the average individual considering events in the distant past or future."

"Your daydreams involve more visual imagery than the average daydreamer. You tend to ‘see’ people, places and events ‘in your head’."

Bee said...

Dear Amara:

I guess this is a matter of perspective. I believe I must be one of the dullest persons on earth. Just ask my husband: you can place me in the garden and I will spend the whole day doing nothing but wiggling my toes ;-)

I find the point with 'seeing' events and people where you've scored so high actually interesting for a different reason. I am always wondering how other people 'think'. I personally don't think very much in pictures or words, so it's hard to communicate, but I keep wondering whether I'm missing a dimension.

But besides this, I didn't find the survey particularly well made. It doesn't really have cross-checks and the interpretation of the results (as I mentioned above) seems pretty short sighted. I'm not a psychologist but it doesn't look very reliable, more like a poll than a scientific survey.

Best,

B.

QUASAR9 said...

lol Bee,
don't forget most people on these polls tend to give an average answer, thus creating the average

Your daydreams are less visual than the average daydreamer. You tend to ‘see’ people, places and events ‘in your head’ less than most do.

lol, the only place we see anything is inside 'our' heads, did you mean you cannot play movies in your head, or replay conversations you've had.

Well, they had no question that referred to equations...

Words, images, people, faces, music, symbols or equations Bee - whatever floats your boat

PS - The Universe created your mind and Amara's too, seems no One Mind can contain the whole picture

PPS - I was unsurprisingly average, agreeing with the highest scores on ALL the answers, but I wasn't feeling very eccentric today

Uncle Al said...

Everybody else is wrong, and in big trouble for it. The top of the bell curve is in unstable equilibrium. The inevitable fall will not be toward the better side.

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

It seems that I spend more time daydreaming than most, but less time daydreaming about things anybody else dreams about. The test considers me creative, probably because it can't think of anything else polite to say to me.

I don't think this is a good test for scientists.

Prof Anonym said...

There is such a thing as creative daydreaming. See for example

http://arxiv.org/abs/0708.0573

Plato said...

You spend less time than the average individual considering events in the distant past or future.

If you were able to see my dreams you would think differently. Why I tend to think there is more to what is "around us" that holds memory then just our brains.

Plato said...

The top of the bell curve is in unstable equilibrium. The inevitable fall will not be toward the better side.

Thus part of the string landscape? :)A truncated level computerized and shaded, just like some areas of the "puzzled brain?"

Dark and lighter areas jigsawed?

Plato said...

A jigsaw?

Bee said...

now look at this, on my blog even the anonymous commenters are profs ;-)

Hey CIP,
I read your interesting post on self-deception (had no time to comment), thanks for the link. I guess self-deception is a way to make daydreams come true. Makes one wonder what reality is. If I dream up my past and believe it, does it matter whether it happened? Best,

B.

QUASAR9 said...

For The First Time, Patterns Of Excitation Waves Found In Brain’s Visual Processing Center
Georgetown University Medical Centre

and more waves
Physicists: Quantum Dance Draws Unexpected Guests
Science Daily

Plato said...

Q9,

We've come a long way since Penfield. :)

Imagine developing psychological processes from such mapping.

Chanda! said...

I think the survey approved of me, which is fantastic because now I can wake up tomorrow knowing that I am worthy:
You spend more time than the average individual ‘lost in thought’ or mind-wandering.

You use your mind-wandering time wisely! You spend more time than the average individual planning or problem-solving while daydreaming.

You spend more time than the average individual planning and anticipating events in the impending future (i.e., you are a planner).

Your daydreams involve more visual imagery than the average daydreamer. You tend to ‘see’ people, places and events ‘in your head’.

Your daydreams are fairly realistic and tend not to involve improbable events.