Where Are Your Thoughts? On the Relationship between Technology Use and Mind Wandering

AbstractMind wandering is an important brain activity that fosters creativity and productivity. Research suggests that individuals spend up to 50% of their waking time thinking about things that are unrelated to the present situation or task. Previous literature has acknowledged the importance of mind wandering in technology-related contexts by investigating its mediating role between task and individual performance. In this study, we go one step further and investigate the direct relationship between technology use and mind wandering. In particular, we investigate if different types of technology use (hedonic use vs. utilitarian use) have an impact on mind wandering. Results from a factorial survey study (n=90) suggest that there is a significant difference between hedonic use and utilitarian use when it comes to mind wandering. Based on these insights, we discuss the role of mind wandering for IS research and potentials for future research.

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