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“When the Absence of Reasoning Breeds Meaning: Metacognitive Appraisals of Spontaneous Thought”

Carey Morewedge
Boston University
Date and Time: 
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 17:30

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


Intuitions, atitudes, images, mind wandering, dreams, and religious messages are just a few of the many kinds of uncontrolled thoughts that intrude on consciousness spontaneously without a clear reason. Logic suggests that people might thus interpret spontaneous thoughts as meaningless and be uninfluenced by them. By contrast, my research finds that the lack of an obvious external source or motive leads people
to attribute considerable meaning and importance to spontaneous thoughts. Spontaneous thoughts are perceived to provide meaningful insight into the self, others, and the world.


Carey K. Morewedge, Ph.D., is a Professor of Marketing and the Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the Boston University Questrom School of Business. His research examines how higher order cognitive processes influence human judgment and decision making.