Mind-Wandering 2

Last registered on June 15, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Mind-Wandering 2
Initial registration date
June 06, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
June 15, 2022, 10:06 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

Boston College

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Ohio State
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
This project investigates fundamental economic questions about mind-wandering.
Note this is connected to AEARCTR-0008811. Those data, as outlined in that registration, will be used in this study.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Coffman, Lucas, Hannu Kivimaki and Ian Krajbich. 2022. "Mind-Wandering 2." AEA RCT Registry. June 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9550-1.0
Experimental Details


We vary (but do not include every possible cell; details below)
The costs of unintentional mind-wandering
Whether there is a working-memory burdensome task
Whether there is a reminder of the penalties after the working-memory task
Whether the working-memory task is at the beginning or 2/3 of the way through the study
Whether the task is fun
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our main measure of mind-wandering is the total number of mistakes made in the “main task” portion of the study. Mistakes are the sum of incorrect answers and answers not provided in the allotted time.
We will look at how this varies with respect to the intervention, how it varies over time, whether incorrect answers or late answers are more prevalent, how common mistakes are versus the use of a pause button, as well as correlates with survey measures.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment measures whether a subject is on task using a sustained attention to response task: Words flash on the screen one-at-a-time, and every so often, the sequence stops. At this point, the participant is required to recall what the most recent word that was shown, choosing from four options. Every time they provide an incorrect answer or the answer is too late, they have to do additional tasks to earn their payment.

Note this is being done online, through Prolific.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization is done within the Qualtrics survey, according to prescribed ratios.
Randomization Unit
Randomization is done at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
See below
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We will collect batches of 50 observations per treatment arm starting 6/7/2022. We will stop each treatment once the standard error of its estimated treatment effect is below 0.16. See Analysis plan for details.
The treatment effects considered are:
1 vs 2
3 vs 1
4 vs 5
6 vs 7
8 vs 1
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Boston College Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials