The Mind in its Own Place: The Difficulties and Benefits of Thinking for Pleasure

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Description: We present a model that describes why it is difficult to enjoy one’s thoughts, how it can be done successfully, and when there is value in doing so. Across 36 studies we have conducted on this topic with just over 10,000 participants, we found that thinking for pleasure does not come easily to most people, but can be enjoyable and beneficial under the right conditions.

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This article is concerned with a type of thinking that has received little attention, namely intentional “thinking for pleasure”-- the case in which people deliberately focus solely on their thoughts with the goal of generating positive affect. We present a model that describes why it is difficult to enjoy one’s thoughts, how it can be done successfully, and when there is value in doing so. We re...

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  • Supplementary Materials

    Supplementary materials for Wilson, Westgate, Buttrick & Gilbert (2019)

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