Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1120-1126 (2011)

Abstract
Current accounts suggest that self-referential thought serves a pivotal function in the human ability to simulate the future during mind-wandering. Using experience sampling, this hypothesis was tested in two studies that explored the extent to which self-reflection impacts both retrospection and prospection during mind-wandering. Study 1 demonstrated that a brief period of self-reflection yielded a prospective bias during mind-wandering such that participants’ engaged more frequently in spontaneous future than past thought. In Study 2, individual differences in the strength of self-referential thought — as indexed by the memorial advantage for self rather than other-encoded items — was shown to vary with future thinking during mind-wandering. Together these results confirm that self-reflection is a core component of future thinking during mind-wandering and provide novel evidence that a key function of the autobiographical memory system may be to mentally simulate events in the future
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2010.12.017
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References found in this work BETA

Memory and Consciousness.Endel Tulving - 1985 - Canadian Psychology 26:1-12.

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Self-Awareness Part 1: Definition, Measures, Effects, Functions, and Antecedents.Alain Morin - 2011 - Social and Personality Psychology Compass 5: 807-823.

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