True self-alienation positively predicts reports of mindwandering Academic Article uri icon


  • Two studies assessed the relationship between feelings of uncertainty about who one truly is (i.e., true self-alienation) and self-reported task-unrelated thoughts (i.e., mindwandering) during performance tasks. Because true self-alienation is conceptualized as the subjective disconnect between conscious awareness and actual experience, we hypothesized that greater feelings of true self-alienation would positively relate to subjective reports of mindwandering. Two convergent studies supported this hypothesis. Moreover, this relationship could not consistently be accounted for by the independent influence of other aspects of authenticity, negative mood, mindfulness, or broad personality dimensions. These findings suggest that individual differences in true self-alienation are reliably associated with subjective reports of mindwandering. The implications of these findings for the true self-alienation construct, the ways that personality relates to mindwandering, and future research directions focused on curtailing mindwandering and improving performance and achievement are discussed.

altmetric score

  • 10.18

author list (cited authors)

  • Vess, M., Leal, S. A., Hoeldtke, R. T., Schlegel, R. J., & Hicks, J. A.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • August 2016