This Forbes article states that a Dr. Frederic Luskin did research that found 90% of thoughts have been thought before by the subject, which got me thinking about his methodology for measuring repetition. I cannot find the article, and all references to him are unconnected to that area of his research. Most existing studies on repetition of thoughts focus on rumination and similar, not the sort of uniqueness quotient he appears to have measured, so I can't find other literature that might answer my questions or corroborate his claims.

Does anyone know of:

  1. Any replications or similar papers specifically researching uniqueness of thoughts over time
  2. How an experiment like this might be designed? I remember an experiment measuring something comparable was done with chimes that go off randomly throughout the day over the course of a couple weeks, and when the subject hears the chime, they record their thought at the moment. His may have been similar, but this leads to issues when people aren't thinking of anything or when your group of subjects have different thought styles (verbal vs conceptual vs visual) and it would be interesting to see how/if situations like that were mitigated.
  3. Anything about this guy that might discredit the experiments he's done (he was at Stanford which brings a little prestige, and he appears to still be publishing - last paper with his name on it was from 2018, but I don't know what he's done or has been doing)
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The other stat mentioned in the article - that we have 60,000 thoughts a day - reminded me of this question (I mention the 60-70k thoughts thing in my answer). $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Dec 9, 2022 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ The Forbes article provides no citation and I doubt the research exists. Elsewhere on the web, and in some published books, you find the claim that 80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% are exactly the same every day, referring to a '2005 NSF article'. I can find no such article. $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2023 at 10:34


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