Patterns of ongoing thought in the real world
This data was used to examine how thought patterns in the real world relate to the contexts in which they naturally emerge. We determined the prevalence of thought patterns (identified using Principal Component Analysis (PCA)) in a real-world experience sampling cohort. Participants completed multidimensional experience sampling (MDES) surveys eight times daily for five consecutive days. PCA was applied to these data to identify common "patterns of thought". Linear mixed modelling compared the prevalence of each thought pattern across different social, activity, location, and time contexts. We found that participants reported patterns of thought with episodic and social features when they were interacting with people in either a physical or virtual manner, replicating previous results. Furthermore, we discovered associations between four ongoing thought patterns captured by MDES and the everyday activities people were engaged in. Additionally, location predicted detailed task focus thought, especially when inside a workplace. Lastly, time of day was associated with both detailed task focus and episodic social cognition thought patterns. Overall, our study replicated the influence of socializing on patterns of ongoing thought and mapped patterns of thought across real-world contexts, such as social environment, activity, location, and time, as people went about their daily lives. For full details of how this data was collected, see Mulholland et al. (2023), Consciousness and Cognition, Patterns of ongoing thought in the real world.
Steps to reproduce
Participants were recruited between February 2022 and April 2022 through the Queen's University Psychology Participant Pool. This recruitment timeline was determined by the Psychology Participant Pool participation end date. Eligible participants were Queen's University students enrolled in designated first- and second-year psychology courses. A total of 101 participants (women = 83, men = 13, non-binary = 2, did not specify = 3; age: mean = 21.11; standard deviation = 5.33; range = 18 to 52) completed this study. Participants were emailed a MindLogger invitation for an applet called "THOUGHTLOG," which they were instructed to accept. The THOUGHTLOG applet contains an multidimensional experience sampling (MDES) survey with additional stress, social environment, physical location, and activity questions that participants completed for this study. Participants were required to download the MindLogger application onto their smartphones to access the THOUGHTLOG applet, and consequently, the MDES survey and additional questions. Participants were notified to complete the THOUGHTLOG applet eight times daily for five consecutive days between the hours of 7:00 am and 11:00 pm (participants response rate: mean = 14.44/40 (36.1%), standard deviation = 11.04). Each prompt was randomly delivered within a specific two-hour time interval. Each applet was expected to take approximately two minutes to complete. Maximum daily participation time was approximately 16 minutes, and maximum total participation time was approximately 80 minutes over five days. Participants received MindLogger notifications on their smartphones and all responses were made with reference to their thoughts, feelings, environment, location, and activities immediately before receiving the notification. 14 mDES questions about thought content across a variety of dimensions were always asked first and in the same order. Participants then answered a single question about their stress level followed by questions about their physical and virtual social environment. Participants also indicated the type of physical location they were in and their primary activity. For full MDES questions and possible responses, see Mulholland et al. (2023), Consciousness and Cognition, Patterns of ongoing thought in the real world.
New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF)