If you spend a lot of time on your smartphone, the results of a new scientific study show that putting down your device and “letting your mind soar” can be really fun, the results of a new scientific study may be important.
According to Daily Mail, Daily Mail Cited in Experimental Psychology, study volunteers sat in a room without distractions such as a smartphone for up to 20 minutes.
Through several different scenarios, participants enjoyed sitting and thinking without any distractions. The researchers say the findings are important in our modern age of “increased flow of information,” with constant access to distraction through multiple and varied technologies.
The study was conducted by experts from Japanese institutions in collaboration with the British University of Reading. “Humans have an amazing ability to immerse themselves in their thoughts,” said the study’s lead researcher, Aya Hatano, who earned her PhD from Kyoto University in Japan. The study results suggest that individuals have difficulty appreciating the attractiveness of thought, which may explain why some prefer to immerse themselves in devices and other distractions rather than take a moment to think and imagine their daily lives.
A series of 6 experiments
The researchers conducted a series of six experiments with 259 participants, all university students from Japan or the United Kingdom, in which they compared their expectations of how much they would enjoy just sitting and thinking with their actual experience.
In the first experiment, researchers asked participants to predict how much they enjoyed sitting alone for 20 minutes. Participants were not allowed to do anything distracting, such as reading, walking around, looking at a smartphone, or taking a quick nap.
Then, participants reported how much they enjoyed doing nothing but sitting in their chair. The researchers found that participants enjoyed spending time with their thoughts more than expected.
The results were consistent across different conditions in the experiment, whether participants sat in a meeting room without distractions or inside a small dark tent without visual stimuli, and whether they sat for three minutes or 20 minutes.
In another experiment, researchers compared one group of participants’ expectations about how much they thought and another group’s expectations about how much they enjoyed checking online news.
The thinking group expected you to enjoy the task much less than the fact-checking group. But after going through the experiment, both groups reported similar levels of enjoyment.
The researchers emphasized that the participants did not rank thinking as a very interesting task and that it was more interesting than they thought. On average, participants’ enjoyment level was approximately 3 to 4 on a 7-point scale.
Study co-author Dr. Ko Murayama said: ‘On your bus to work, you might check your phone instead of indulging in your independent inner thought, because you expect that thought to be boring. But if that prediction isn’t accurate, you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage yourself constructively without relying on such stimulation.”
The findings will help them detach from their smartphone and engage in ‘positive interaction’ with themselves. Future research could explore how much people enjoy meditating or why people judge which types of meditation are more enjoyable and stimulating.
“Not all thoughts are intrinsically rewarding, and in fact some people are prone to getting caught up in negative thought cycles,” Dr. Murayama said.
A recent study revealed that different countries have different levels of smartphone addiction, so a citizen of one country is likely to enjoy sitting and thinking much less than citizens of other countries.
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