Date Thesis Awarded

Spring 5-2009

Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Chris Ball

Committee Members

Peter Vishton

Noah Schwartz


This study analyzes eye movements while zoning out during reading in order to come to more general conclusions about the phenomenon of mind wandering. The eye movements of 15 participants were recorded as they read 300 sentences from a historic psychology text. Participants were prompted intermittently to report whether they were zoning out as they read. Focused participants exhibited shorter forward fixations, longer regressions, and a greater proportion of saccades to regressions than unfocused participants, and individuals aware that they were focused displayed longer saccades than unaware participants. These results indicate that zoning out while reading results in both high and low-level deficits for readers and that zoning out is both frequent and disruptive to the reading process.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only