Exploring patterns of ongoing thought under naturalistic and conventional task-based conditions  

Delali Konu, Brontë Mckeown, Adam Turnbull, Nerissa Siu Ping Ho, Theodoros Karapanagiotidis, Tamara Vanderwal, Cade Andrew McCall, Steven Paul Tipper, Beth Jefferies, Jonathan Smallwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research suggests that patterns of ongoing thought are heterogeneous, varying across situations and individuals. The current study investigated the influence of multiple tasks and affective style on ongoing patterns of thought. We used 9 different tasks and measured ongoing thought using multidimensional experience sampling. A Principal Component Analysis of the experience sampling data revealed four patterns of ongoing thought: episodic social cognition, unpleasant intrusive, concentration and self focus. Linear Mixed Modelling was used to conduct a series of exploratory analyses aimed at examining contextual distributions of these thought patterns. We found that different task contexts reliably evoke different thought patterns. Moreover, intrusive and negative thought pattern expression were influenced by individual affective style (depression level). The data establish the influence of task context and intrinsic features on ongoing thought, highlighting the importance of documenting how thought patterns emerge in cognitive tasks with different requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103139
Number of pages15
JournalConsciousness and cognition
Early online date7 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

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