Here we examined the relation between mind wandering and the personality trait of 'grit.' Our hypothesis was that because mind wandering leads to a disruption of momentary goal completion, the tendency to mind wander might be inversely related to the completion of long-term goals that require sustained interest and effort (i.e., grittiness). In Study 1 we used online questionnaires and found that in everyday life, the propensity to mind wander was negatively correlated with individuals' self-reported grittiness. Interestingly, the relation between mind wandering and grit was strongest for unintentional bouts of mind wandering (as compared with intentional mind wandering). We extended these findings in Study 2 by (a) using a more heterogeneous sample of participants, (b) including a measure of conscientiousness, and (c) including another measure of general perseverance. In addition to replicating our findings from Study 1, in Study 2 we found that the grit measure uniquely predicted spontaneous mind wandering over and above a measure of conscientiousness and an alternative measure of general perseverance. Lastly, in Study 3 we extend the relation between mind wandering and grit to the classroom, finding that mind wandering during university lectures was also related to self-reported grittiness. Taken together, we suggest that the propensity to experience brief lapses of attention is associated with the propensity to stick-with and complete long-term goals. We also provide evidence that when predicting mind wandering and inattention, measures of grit are not redundant with existing measure of conscientiousness and general perseverance. (PsycINFO Database Record
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