A Wandering Mind Is an Intelligent Mind

Scientists estimate that your mind wanders about half the time, depending on how much concentration your present task requires. Those with greater memories tend to wander more often. 

What's the Latest Development?


Resent research suggests that mind wandering is associated with good working memory, itself a measure of intelligence, reading comprehension and IQ score. The new study, published in Psychological Science, asked individuals to perform routine tasks and monitored how often their minds wandered. Later, scientists measured each person's working memory and found that people with better memories were also more likely to have a roaming mind. The results are the first indication that memory may enable off-topic thoughts. 

What's the Big Idea?

Despite humans' proclivity for self-conscious and intentional behavior, scientists estimate that our minds wander about half the time, demonstrating the complex behavior and purpose of our brain. When your mind does wander, what thoughts it goes to are an indication of what priorities a person has, consciously or subconsciously. In other words, a wandering mind is a way for the brain to optimize its energy, allocating resources to other concerns when the task at hand does not require someone's complete attention. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists invent method to extract gold from liquid waste

The next gold rush might take place in our sewers.

Shutterstock
Surprising Science
  • Even though we think of it as exceedingly rare, gold can be found all around us.
  • The trouble is, most of the gold is hard to get at; its too diluted in our waste or ocean waters to effectively extract.
  • This new technique quickly, easily, and reliably extracts gold from most liquids.
Keep reading Show less

How 'dark horses' flip the script of success and happiness

What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.

Big Think Books

When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.

Keep reading Show less