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Psychology of Daydreaming by Sofia Papalouka

day dreaming, biological psychology, dreaming, cognitive psychology
Is your head in the clouds?

Today’s guest post is on a great biological psychology topic of the Psychology of Daydreaming, and this psychology guest post was written by the great Sofia Papalouka and I love this topic of biological psychology as it really can be applied to everyday.

I hope you enjoy!

Have you ever been in class and you started zoning out?

Or perhaps, have been walking home and started thinking how you’d rule England?

Although sometimes illogical, these thoughts are termed as daydreaming or mind-wandering.

This consists of unconscious, unconstrained, spontaneous thoughts, that are not influenced

by the external environment. This means that daydreaming can happen at any point and time, without needing a trigger.

Daydreaming acts as a default mode, when you are in a condition that requires low cognitive processes. This means that you are more likely to engage in daydreaming when you are waiting or relaxing, than when you are solving math problems.

But why do we engage in daydreaming anyways?

Some believe that it aids survival and maintains positive relationships. By imagining alternate outcomes of an upcoming event, daydreaming can increase conflict resolution, but also can reduce social anxiety which increases communication. Not only that, but it can also help in achieving goals, by future planning and making future decisions.

One of the biggest advantages, however, is the increase of creativity (Poerio & Smallwood, 2016). By fantasizing different scenarios, parts of the brain named pre-frontal cortex and temporal lobe display higher activity when daydreaming, which is where the imagination network is believed to be located (Kaufman, 2013). The stimulation of the imagination network could potentially aid in gaining creative and inspired moods, valuable to artists and musicians.

On the negative side, daydreaming can also lead to detrimental effects, such as loss of concentration when driving or lack of attention in an education context affecting performance (Poerio & Smallwood, 2016).

Even if there are chances of having negative experiences, however, daydreaming is valuable to social cognitions and emotional stability, since it can act as an escape from reality.

So, keep on daydreaming!

Thank you so much for that great psychology blog post Sofia!

I hope that you’re enjoyed this biological psychology blog post and if you want to learn more about biological psychology- you can get my FREE eBook when you sign up for my newsletter.

Have a great day everyone!


Poerio, G., & Smallwood, J. (2016). Daydreaming to navigate the social world: What we know, what we don't know, and why it matters. Social And Personality Psychology Compass, 10(11), 605-618. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12288

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