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“Just Think”—Students Feel Significantly More Relaxed, Less Aroused, and in a Better Mood after a Period of Silence Alone in a Room

Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, 79098 Freiburg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Psych 2019, 1(1), 343-352;
Received: 17 April 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
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A series of studies by Wilson and colleagues in 2014 suggested that participants (mostly students) did not enjoy a 6 to 15 min silent period of “just thinking”. Students in our study (n = 64) similarly spent a period of silence (6:30 min) alone in a room with nothing to do but concentrate on their own thoughts. They sat on a chair facing the door. Unlike the study by Wilson et al., the students felt significantly more relaxed, less aroused, and in a better mood after this period of silence. The subjects did not experience boredom; they were mostly present-oriented and judged that the time had passed quickly. A reason why the students in our study managed a silent period of time just thinking compared to the Wilson et al. study may be due to intercultural factors. Another reason could be that our student sample was already acquainted with aspects of emotional self-awareness owing to their specific study programs and curricula (mostly education, inclusive education, social education). On the basis of such possible influences, the variety of responses our subjects reported for a period of “just thinking” merits further investigation.
Keywords: relaxation; silence; time perception; boredom; waiting relaxation; silence; time perception; boredom; waiting
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Pfeifer, E.; Geyer, N.; Storch, F.; Wittmann, M. “Just Think”—Students Feel Significantly More Relaxed, Less Aroused, and in a Better Mood after a Period of Silence Alone in a Room. Psych 2019, 1, 343-352.

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