Daydreaming and Fantasizing: Thought Flow and Motivation

Authored by: Eric Klinger

Handbook of Imagination and Mental Simulation

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  September  2012

Print ISBN: 9781841698878
eBook ISBN: 9780203809846
Adobe ISBN: 9781136678103


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Most people understand the meaning of daydreaming and fantasy intuitively. They have had the experience of reading text and suddenly realizing that while their eyes had traversed half a page their minds had been on something altogether different, perhaps an upcoming business meeting or a romance. They have imagined themselves as an alluring person able to win a coveted partner or as one of unusual strength or agility able to defeat an opponent. They have seen and enjoyed fiction in books and films. They have been told to stop daydreaming and get back to work, or that some belief of theirs is pure fantasy. Most people view their daydreams as very private affairs that they feel less comfortable describing to other people than when they are describing their real experiences (Klinger, Murphy, Ostrem, & Stark-Wroblewski, 2004–2005). That is, they have experienced daydreaming and fantasy as their own perfectly natural states, and they have experienced the limits of social tolerance for them.

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