Boredom

Here’s an interesting study … about boredom. Lack of excitement might not seem like the most exciting research topic at first glance, but we all have a slightly different experience of boredom.

Maybe you’re always fighting boredom. Maybe you aren’t generally susceptible to boredom but still have a few activities in your life that invariably make you start yawning. Or maybe you’re one of those people who claims to never get bored (more on this in a minute).

To learn more about how boredom affects people, a team of researchers surveyed a group of 3,867 adults over the course of ten days, asking them at different times what emotions they were experiencing, including whether they were bored.

Overall, the participants reported being bored 2.8 percent of the times they were asked about their emotions.

However, there was considerable variation in how often people reported being bored. Over the course of the ten-day period, 63 percent of the participants reported being bored at least one time.

On the other hand, that means 37 percent were apparently untouched by boredom! Honestly, I’ve never really believed people who tell me they never get bored, but the science seems to be proving me wrong on that one!

Certain demographics reported experiencing more boredom than others. These included men, unmarried people, youth and people with lower incomes.

About a third of the variation in how bored different demographic groups were came down to how people in these groups spent their time. In general, people were more likely to report being bored when they were working or studying or when they had less autonomy — for example, when they were at school or with coworkers.

The study also found that boredom often went hand-in-hand with other negative emotions. When people felt bored, they were also more likely to feel lonely, angry, worried or sad.

So there you have it. People report being bored 2.8 percent of the time on average, but some people tend to be bored more or less. Boredom can be lonely and sad, and some situations will make you bored more than others. Unless you’re part of the 37 percent that doesn’t get bored, of course, in which case you probably found this study a bit, well, boring!

Image: Flickr/Andy Ward