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Names Of The Thoughts And Images That Arise When Attention Drifts Away

1712 words - 7 pages

Over the past decades, researchers have assigned various names to the thoughts and images that arise when attention drifts away from external tasks and perceptual input toward a more private, internal stream of consciousness. One of the most common term used was Daydreaming. Many in the field of psychology have attempted to study and explore the inner realm of daydreams and fantasies. Each taking different claims, defining daydreams in many ways. Freud considered daydreaming and fantasizing as a defence mechanism. Freudian psychology interpreted daydreaming as expression of the repressed instincts similarly to those revealing themselves in night-time dreams; they are thoughts about wish fulfilment. Many of us also view daydreaming not only as defense mechanism, but also as coping mechanism. In line with this thought, Klinger (1980) reported that people daydream to cope up with mundane life. He claimed that people subject to daydreaming to “ease the boredom” of their routine tasks. Singer (1996) defined daydreaming as a shift of attention away from an on-going physical or mental task or from a perceptual response to external stimulation toward some internal stimulus. According to Giambra (1993) Task unrelated thoughts are the internal sources of simuli. Task Unrelated Thoughts (TUTs) (Smallwood, Baracaia, Lowe, & Obansawinb, 2003) are thought directed away from the current situation, for example a daydream. Going more scientific and neuropsychological, researchers and neuroscientists (Mason et al., 2007) studied the area of the brain labelled as the default mode network (DMN) of the brain - more commonly known as running on auto-pilot. They say that the brain will switch to doing something useful like daydreaming and imagining when it is not being used for other activities like reading or other functions. In comparison to other networks, the default mode network uses the most direct anatomical connections. We think that neuronal activity is automatically directed to level off at this network whenever there are no external influences on the brain.
Daydreaming, or task unrelated thoughts, has always been part of human’s life. According to Smallwood (2003) it was occurring from 10 percent to 20 percent of the time, depending on the task. Others, suggests that it takes up an estimated one-third of all mental processes (Klinger & Cox, 1987-1988). Many psychologists imposed the purpose of daydreaming as a coping mechanism. According to pleasure principle, human have instinctual seeking of pleasure and avoiding pain in order to satisfy bio/’.
logical and psychological needs. In line with this is the notion of Escapism, saying that man does mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an "escape" from the perceived unpleasant or banal aspects of daily life. However, though it seems that daydreaming gives such a positive effect on human’s lives, it can also lead to detrimental path.
Though daydreaming poses positive effects, we still...

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