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People disengage from reality half the time

People disengage from reality half the time
November 15, 2010, 11:01:39 AM
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It turns out that just under half the time, 46.9% to be exact, people are doing what's called 'mind wandering'. They are not focused on the outside world or the task at hand, they are looking into their own thoughts. Unfortunately, the study of 2,250 people proposes, most of this activity doesn't make us feel happy.

The study was designed to find out what kind of activities people did throughout a day, and which made them happiest. Mindwandering was just one of 22 possible activities people could list.

Researchers found that people were at their happiest when making love, exercising, or engaging in conversation. They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-work/201011/new-study-shows-humans-are-auto-pilot-nearly-half-the-time

Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 18, 2010, 10:50:41 PM
"They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer."

The average work day is 8 hours, plus 8 hours sleep and 8 hours other things. So half of one's waking life is unhappy? No wonder people's minds tend to wander, eh?...

Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 22, 2010, 11:31:41 AM
It's probably too much but I drew this diagram.


Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 22, 2010, 01:09:52 PM
Occupying the mind with menial tasks only inhibits the process, but doesn't fix it.

Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 22, 2010, 01:12:54 PM
I think "disengaged from reality" is a bit of a misnomer, because everything is part of 'reality', including one's imagination. Rather I would say they're disengaged from logic and recognizing cause-and-effect and that their vision and awareness of reality is unclear.

Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 22, 2010, 04:18:04 PM
Autopilot is not necessarily disengagement from logic. It is conscious disengagement from the surrounding world and withdrawal into mind's eye thought reflection while the body carries on with quasi-autonomic tasks like driving or washing dishes.

Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 22, 2010, 07:42:40 PM
I would say it might be an *attempt* to recoil from reality but it's neither thought of in those terms consciously nor can it accomplish that goal in actual fact - reality still exists no matter where one's mind is at, as demonstrated in this case by their unhappiness resulting from the impossibility of their 'disengagement'. They don't realize what they're doing can only be counter-productive, they don't understand how they can truly have happiness not in their fantasies or imaginations but in their actual lives. Fantasy and imagination doesn't constitute life, it results from it, and if it occurs in a natural way in moderation then it doesn't have to necessarily be a bad thing at all.

Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 22, 2010, 11:38:36 PM
Has somebody challenged the work method of these kind of studies in itself ?

So they take 2000 people ask them questions and judge the answers conforming their experience and theories in this domain; in the end they impose those conclusions on the imense majority of those who didn't answer the questions. Seems ridiculous to me as if we would be the same, no morons, no geniuses ... just sheep to be studied...by other sheep, of course.

Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 23, 2010, 02:44:32 PM
You're probably looking for an assurance that the scientific method was rigorously applied rather than a challenge. Hopefully so, otherwise reputations would suffer and after that, funding usually dries up.

Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 27, 2010, 08:10:24 PM
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"We developed a smartphone technology to sample people’s ongoing thoughts, feelings, and actions and found (i) that people are thinking about what is not happening almost as often as they are thinking about what is and (ii) found that doing so typically makes them unhappy. "

According to the research, minds were wandering on average 47 percent of the time.

http://www.examiner.com/holistic-science-spirit-in-national/daydreaming-may-be-making-you-unhappy

Re: People disengage from reality half the time
November 28, 2010, 05:29:25 AM
While disengaged from what's going on around them, people are less likely to report that they feel happy.

Therefore, disengaging from what's going on around you causes you to become unhappy, and must be stopped.

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The ~50% statistic is interesting, as this is roughly the proportion of people who test as Introverted on the MBTI.