My Reading notes from The Richness of Inner Experience: Relating Styles of Daydreaming to Creative Processes

Need to differentiate between kinds of creative processes as well as between alternative styles of daydreaming. analytical problem solving vs insight. Creativity and imagination are often tied together. Common types of imagination are daydreaming and wandering.

Long speculation about the relation of daydreaming and creativity. Attributed to our imagination being relatively undisturbed from our environment.

Frequent mind wandering associated with creativity but additionally, mindful focus is also positively associated with creativity.

Creativity as multiple processes. Divided between insight and analytical problem solving.

Aspects of Insight:

  • a state of understanding.
  • The selective encoding, combination, or restructuring of information
  • The experience of having an insight. Spontaneity of ideas. Could be the result of unconscious associative processing.
  • It is more difficult to communicate insight verbally.

Aspects of analytical problem-solving.

  • systematically searching for an idea or solution, rejecting bad ideas.

  • An incremental process.

  • While analytic thought can be useful for non-creative tasks, it is also often used to solve insight problems. While insight is typically studied in creative tasks, it may also occur in non-creative tasks.

  • Both mind wandering and mindful awareness are alternative creative processes that can generate creative ideas or solutions.

  • Greater disposition toward mind wandering associated with increased insight solving, while greater tendency toward mindful awareness associated with increased analytic solving.
  • Suggests that blocking out input from the environment facilitates insight.
  • Suggests that internal focus of attention during daydreaming, increases the likelihood of insights.

Daydreaming styles

  • (1) positive-constructive daydreaming, pleasant thoughts, vivid imagery, planning, and interpersonal curiosity.
  • (2) guilty-dysphoric daydreaming, unpleasant emotions such as guilt, fear of failure, and aggressive inclinations, and finally.
  • (3) poor attentional control: fleeting daydreams and general difficulty focusing attention on internal or external events.
  • While positive mood facilitates creativity by increasing insight, negative mood can enhance creativity through analytic thought and persistence.
  • Negative mood often interpreted as signal that one’s current state is discrepant from one’s desired state. This promotes an analytic information processing style and increased effort recruitment.
  • Daydreaming, compared to being focused on the present, is often associated with negative mood.
  • Rumination (repetitive, self-referential thought) results in a narrowed focus of attention, associated with reduced creativity. While rumination might impede creative insights, it may improve creativity through analytic thought.
  • Deliberate daydreaming may be more structured than unintentional daydreaming and more narrowly focused on personal goals.
  • Unintentional daydreaming may be characterised more by the kind of associative processing thought to facilitate insight. Probably unintentional daydreaming is more likely to involve negative, ruminative thought, while deliberate daydreaming involves more positive thoughts.

Can we improve creative performance by deliberately engaging in styles of daydreaming that are conducive to creativity?

  • Studies focused on providing Specific instructions such as mentally manipulating the appearance of objects and imagining traveling to different locations. Others provided Guided visualisation exercises
  • Perhaps broad positive daydreams are more helpful for tasks that require reconceptualisation, whereas narrowly defined critical reflection facilitates fleshing out details of ideas.