ERIC Number: EJ876968
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Level of Construal, Mind Wandering, and Repetitive Thought: Reply to McVay and Kane (2010)
Watkins, Edward R.
Psychological Bulletin, v136 n2 p198-201 Mar 2010
In this reply to the comment of McVay and Kane (2010), I consider their argument concerning how Watkins's (2008) elaborated control theory informs their perspective on the role of executive control in mind wandering. I argue that although in a number of places the elaborated control theory is consistent with the perspective of McVay and Kane that mind wandering represents a failure of executive control, their account makes a number of claims that are not articulated in the elaborated control theory--most notably, the hypothesis that level of construal moderates entry of thoughts into awareness. Moreover, the relevant literature suggests that the relationship between level of construal and executive control may be more complex, and may be determined by multiple factors beyond those proposed in this executive-control failure account of mind wandering. Finally, the implications of this model of mind wandering for understanding repetitive thought in general are considered, and it is proposed that examining level of executive control as a further moderating variable within elaborated control theory may be of value.
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Difficulty Level, Social Psychology, Evaluation, Cues, Repetition, Short Term Memory, Memory, Consciousness Raising
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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