Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Debra Steele-Johnson, Ph.D. (Advisor); Nathan Bowling, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Joan Rentsch, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Corey Miller, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this study was to examine the role of self-regulatory mechanisms when predicting mind wandering. I collected data from a sample of undergraduate psychology students (N = 168) and full-time workers (N = 660). The hypothesized model did not produce acceptable fit. However, through alternative model testing, I discovered a well-fitting model of self-regulatory predictors of mind wandering. These results contributed to the literature by providing evidence that motivational mechanisms significantly predict mind wandering in both student and work contexts and raise issues relating to 1) the uni- versus multi-dimensionality of approach and avoid-motivational temperaments, 2) distinctions between goal level, goal commitment, and other motivational variables, and 3) the need to integrate motivational mechanisms and predictors into existing models of mind wandering.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded