Daydreamers Might Be Geniuses (Or Close)

At high school, it’s invariably the kids that day dream who get told off. But a new study suggests that it’s those of us whose minds wander that have the best working memory—and working memory is itself directly associated to intelligence.

A new study, conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science, suggests that a person’s working memory capacity relates to the tendency of their mind to wander during routine tasks. Working memory is the capacity to remember information for short periods of time—say, remembering a number while you dig out your phone.

To reach their findings, which are published in Psychological Science, the team had participants undertake a simple routine task, asking them to press a button when they saw a letter appear on a computer screen. Throughout the tests, they also periodically asked them if they were actively focusing on the task or thinking about something else. They also measured each participant’s working memory by asking them to remember strings of letter while performing math problems.

The result? People with higher working memory capacity reported more mind wandering during simple tasks. Jonathan Smallwood, one of the researchers, explains to Science Daily:

“What this study seems to suggest is that, when circumstances for the task aren’t very difficult, people who have additional working memory resources deploy them to think about things other than what they’re doing.”

 Working memory is predictor of intelligence, and correlates strongly with measures like reading comprehension and IQ score, which suggests that the more your mind wanders, the smarter you are. The researchers suggest that where your mind wanders to is probably an indication of your subconscious priorities, but the less said about that, I think, the better. So, anyway, if you weren’t paying attention to a single word I just wrote, congratulations; you’re a smartass. [Psychological Science via Science Daily]


  • Oh boy don’t I wish I could go back and show this article to all of my past teachers.They owe me years back in extra homework and detention;)lol

  • I disagree my memory is horrible and I can daydream while doing complicated things. Hell I can even walk for a long period of time and daydream. I basically trained my self to daydream almost all the time.

  • Consider that your Brain is a computer’s. It has an hard disk – Long term Memory, RAM – Short term memory and processor – Cognitive Power. The study says that the RAM capacity of a Daydream’s (computer) is better than (a normal computer). But the study doesn’t tell that even the Hard Disk is also evolved in day dreamers. Also most importantly, the processor. We have super multitasking processor – dual core, quad core etc, and normal processor – even this can multitask but not so efficient for multitasking. So in a day dreamer, the processor evolves and becomes a multitasking system that has an advanced RAM. Since, without an efficient RAM multitasking processor cannot deliver better result. Thus, in daydreamers have multitasking brains with highly efficient short term memory. 🙂

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