Daydreaming Analysis

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Expos: Daydreaming The article “Daydreaming to navigate the social world: what we know, what we don’t know, and why it matters”, written by Giulia Lara Poerio and Jonathan Smallwood, suggests that daydreaming is a potentially adaptive form of social cognition that works to benefit a person’s health and social life in several ways. An extensive review of multiple peer-reviewed articles served as the basis for argument on these topics, as well as the authors’ own interpretation of data collected in several other studies. Showing that daydreaming and other socially cognitive mechanisms share a similar neural basis. Daydreaming is thought of in a lot of different ways, potentially because it is a very complex, heterogeneous process. While some may define it as a category of thinking that is not particularly related to an environmental stimulus or currently-occurring task, this definition leaves out a lot of what daydreaming actually is. Daydreaming may occur independently to the events unfolding in a person’s current environment, the referenced article attempts to demonstrate that daydreaming is an active form of self-generated thinking that could potentially improve a person’s ability to focus on and organize personal, future-related goals. The notion that we spend a lot of time daydreaming implies that daydreaming is adaptive in a sense that it may even be evolutionarily significant. Investigations spanning multiple countries and multiple lab studies “indicate that between 30% and 50% of waking life is spent daydreaming” (Poerio and Smallwood, 2016). The heterogeneous nature of daydreaming includes many types of self-generated thought (e.g. worrying, involuntary memories, fantasies, etc.) that a person could focus on separately for... ... middle of paper ... ...reaming could be further proven as adaptive rather than maladaptive if the processes and mechanisms observed in the content of daydreams were correlated to outcomes in participant’s social lives that were consistent with goals that those processes would normally help individuals achieve those goals. Other observational studies which could be insightful would be to “examine how daydreams influence the motivation and commitment to pursue goals, which then translates into achievement”, as well as examining the extent to which the different ways of imagining social goals (pursuing them versus having already achieved them) affects our ability to achieve these goals. References Poerio, G. and Smallwood, J. (2016). Daydreaming to navigate the social world: What we know, what we don't know, and why it matters. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 10(11), pp.605-618.
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