Cross-cultural consistency and relativity in the enjoyment of thinking versus doing.

Published on Nov 1, 2019in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
· DOI :10.1037/PSPP0000198
Nick Buttrick8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UVA: University of Virginia),
Hyewon Choi7
Estimated H-index: 7
(UVA: University of Virginia)
+ 27 AuthorsDaniela C. Wilks1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Porto)
: Which is more enjoyable: trying to think enjoyable thoughts or doing everyday solitary activities? Wilson et al. (2014) found that American participants much preferred solitary everyday activities, such as reading or watching TV, to thinking for pleasure. To see whether this preference generalized outside of the United States, we replicated the study with 2,557 participants from 12 sites in 11 countries. The results were consistent in every country: Participants randomly assigned to do something reported significantly greater enjoyment than did participants randomly assigned to think for pleasure. Although we found systematic differences by country in how much participants enjoyed thinking for pleasure, we used a series of nested structural equation models to show that these differences were fully accounted for by country-level variation in 5 individual differences, 4 of which were positively correlated with thinking for pleasure (need for cognition, openness to experience, meditation experience, and initial positive affect) and 1 of which was negatively correlated (reported phone usage). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
20 Citations
52 Citations
14 Citations
#1Sarah Alahmadi (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 1
#2Nick Buttrick (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 8
Last. Timothy D. Wilson (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 78
view all 6 authors...
People find it difficult to enjoy their own thoughts when asked to do so, but what happens when they are asked to think about whatever they want? Do they find thinking more or less enjoyable? In the present studies, we show that people are more successful in enjoying their thoughts when instructed to do so. We present evidence in support of four reasons why this is: without instructions people do not realize how enjoyable it will be to think for pleasure, they do not realize how personally meani...
7 CitationsSource
#1Erin C. Westgate (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 12
#2Timothy D. Wilson (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 78
Last. Daniel T. Gilbert (Harvard University)H-Index: 65
view all 3 authors...
: Can people enjoy thinking if they set their mind to it? Previous work suggests that many people do not enjoy the deliberate attempt to have pleasurable thoughts. We suggest that deliberately thinking for pleasure requires mental resources that people are either unwilling or unable to devote to the task. If so, then people should enjoy pleasant thoughts that occur unintentionally more than pleasant thoughts that occur intentionally. This hypothesis was confirmed in an experience sampling study ...
12 CitationsSource
#1Michael C. Neale (VCU: Virginia Commonwealth University)H-Index: 136
#2Michael D. Hunter (OU: University of Oklahoma)H-Index: 9
Last. Steven M. Boker (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 33
view all 10 authors...
The new software package OpenMx 2.0 for structural equation and other statistical modeling is introduced and its features are described. OpenMx is evolving in a modular direction and now allows a mix-and-match computational approach that separates model expectations from fit functions and optimizers. Major backend architectural improvements include a move to swappable open-source optimizers such as the newly written CSOLNP. Entire new methodologies such as item factor analysis and state space mo...
447 CitationsSource
#1Jayne BigelsenH-Index: 2
#2Jonathan M. Lehrfeld (Fordham University)H-Index: 9
Last. Eli Somer (University of Haifa)H-Index: 24
view all 4 authors...
Abstract This study explores the recently described phenomenon of Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) and attempts to enhance the understanding of its features. It documents the experiences of 340 self-identified maladaptive daydreamers who spend excessive amounts of time engaged in mental fantasy worlds, in comparison to 107 controls. Our sample included a total of 447 individuals, aged 13–78, from 45 countries who responded to online announcements. Participants answered quantitative and qualitative q...
29 CitationsSource
#1Keith Wilcox (Columbia University)H-Index: 11
#2Juliano Laran (UM: University of Miami)H-Index: 19
Last. Peter Pal Zubcsek (UF: University of Florida)H-Index: 7
view all 4 authors...
This research tests the hypothesis that being busy increases motivation and reduces the time it takes to complete tasks for which people miss a deadline. This effect occurs because busy people tend to perceive that they are using their time effectively, which mitigates the sense of failure people have when they miss a task deadline. Studies 1 and 2 show that when people are busy, they are more motivated to complete a task after missing a deadline than those who are not busy, and that the percept...
15 CitationsSource
#1James W. PennebakerH-Index: 116
#2Ryan L. BoydH-Index: 16
Last. Kate G. BlackburnH-Index: 7
view all 4 authors...
590 Citations
#1Kostadin Kushlev (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 17
#2Elizabeth W. Dunn (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 48
Limiting the frequency of checking email throughout the day reduced daily stress.Lower daily stress predicts greater well-being (e.g., higher positive affect).The frequency of checking email did not directly impact other well-being outcomes. Using email is one of the most common online activities in the world today. Yet, very little experimental research has examined the effect of email on well-being. Utilizing a within-subjects design, we investigated how the frequency of checking email affects...
90 CitationsSource
#1Timothy D. Wilson (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 78
#2David A. Reinhard (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 5
Last. Adi Shaked (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 3
view all 8 authors...
In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative.
175 CitationsSource
#1Shinichi Nakagawa (University of Otago)H-Index: 90
#2Holger Schielzeth (Bielefeld University)H-Index: 28
Summary The use of both linear and generalized linear mixed-effects models (LMMs and GLMMs) has become popular not only in social and medical sciences, but also in biological sciences, especially in the field of ecology and evolution. Information criteria, such as Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), are usually presented as model comparison tools for mixed-effects models. The presentation of ‘variance explained’ (R2) as a relevant summarizing statistic of mixed-effects models, however, is rare, ...
5,069 CitationsSource
#1William PowersH-Index: 1
9 Citations
Cited By6
#1Ana CancelaH-Index: 4
#2Pablo Briñol (UAM: Autonomous University of Madrid)H-Index: 46
Last. Richard E. Petty (OSU: Ohio State University)H-Index: 143
view all 3 authors...
Practitioners and researchers interested in designing wise interventions often recommend increasing personal involvement to be successful. Early research demonstrated that personal involvement increases elaboration leading to more persuasion for strong arguments, but to reduced persuasion if the arguments presented are specious. In most prior work, message recipients were plausibly motivated by their desire for knowledge. In the current research, we compare this epistemic goal to another goal in...
#1Will E. Hipson (Carleton University)H-Index: 5
#2Robert J. Coplan (Carleton University)H-Index: 39
Last. Julie C. Bowker (SUNY: State University of New York System)H-Index: 23
view all 5 authors...
1 CitationsSource
#1Eric Pfeifer (Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg)H-Index: 3
#2Marc WittmannH-Index: 51
Research on the perception of silence has led to insights regarding its positive effects on individuals. We conducted a series of studies during which individuals were exposed to several minutes of silence in different contexts. Participants were introduced to different social and environmental settings, either in a seminar room at a university or in a city garden, alone or in a group. Instructions across studies varied, as participants were exposed to real waiting situations, were asked to just...
3 CitationsSource
#1David M. Markowitz (UO: University of Oregon)H-Index: 8
#2Jeffrey T. Hancock (Stanford University)H-Index: 53
Last. Byron Reeves (Stanford University)H-Index: 47
view all 4 authors...
This preregistered study examined the psychological and physiological consequences of exercising self-control with the mobile phone. A total of 125 participants were randomly assigned to sit in an unadorned room for six minutes and either (a) use their mobile phone, (b) sit alone with no phone, or (c) sit with their device but resist using it. Consistent with prior work, participants self-reported more concentration difficulty and more mind wandering with no device present compared to using the ...
3 CitationsSource
#1Eric PfeiferH-Index: 3
#2Nikolas GeyerH-Index: 1
Last. Marc WittmannH-Index: 51
view all 4 authors...
A series of studies by Wilson and colleagues in 2014 suggested that participants (mostly students) did not enjoy a 6 to 15 min silent period of “just thinking”. Students in our study (n = 64) similarly spent a period of silence (6:30 min) alone in a room with nothing to do but concentrate on their own thoughts. They sat on a chair facing the door. Unlike the study by Wilson et al., the students felt significantly more relaxed, less aroused, and in a better mood after this period of silence. The ...
3 CitationsSource
#1Timothy D. Wilson (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 78
#2Erin C. Westgate (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 12
Last. Daniel T. Gilbert (Harvard University)H-Index: 65
view all 4 authors...
Abstract This chapter is concerned with a type of thinking that has received little attention, namely intentional “thinking for pleasure”—the case in which people deliberately focus solely on their thoughts with the goal of generating positive affect. We present a model that describes why it is difficult to enjoy one's thoughts, how it can be done successfully, and when there is value in doing so. We review 36 studies we have conducted on this topic with just over 10,000 participants. We found t...
2 CitationsSource