Investigating Mind-Wandering Episodes While Using Digital Technologies: An Experimental Approach Based on Mixed-Methods

Caroline Reßing*, Frederike M. Oschinsky, Michael Klesel, Björn Niehaves, René Riedl, Patrick Suwandjieff, Selina C. Wriessnegger, Gernot R. Müller-Putz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


In today’s fast-paced world, our brain spends almost half of our waking hours distracted from current environmental stimuli, often referred to as mind wandering in the scientific literature. At the same time, people frequently have several hours daily screen time, signifying the ubiquity of digital technologies. Here, we investigate mind wandering while using digital technologies. Measuring mind wandering (i.e., off-task thought), however, comes with challenges. In this research-in-progress paper, we present an experimental approach based on EEG, eye-tracking, questionnaires, and performance data to measure wind wandering. Our work draws upon the Unusual Uses Task, a widely used task to measure divergent thinking (as a proxy for mind wandering). We describe the experimental setup and discuss initial findings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Systems and Neuroscience - NeuroIS Retreat 2022
EditorsFred D. Davis, René Riedl, René Riedl, Jan vom Brocke, Pierre-Majorique Léger, Adriane B. Randolph, Gernot R. Müller-Putz
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783031130632
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event14th Annual Information Systems and Neuroscience: NeuroIS Retreat 2022 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 14 Jun 202216 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation
ISSN (Print)2195-4968
ISSN (Electronic)2195-4976


Conference14th Annual Information Systems and Neuroscience
Abbreviated titleNeuroIS Retreat 2022


  • EEG
  • Eye-tracking
  • Mind-wandering
  • NeuroIS
  • Unusual uses task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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