Blinded by Boredom: Examining the Effect of Boredom on the Ability to Anticipate Meaningful Experience
Hunter, Andrew Grant
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Boredom is a common human experience that can have surprisingly deleterious consequences. In a world brimming with opportunities for satisfying engagement, it seems unlikely that anyone would be able to remain bored for long. However, research suggests that people sometimes struggle to rid themselves of boredom. What prevents people who are bored from finding relief in one of the many satisfying, meaningful activities available to them? This paper tests the hypothesis that bored individuals tend to make pessimistic predictions about the meaningfulness of potential activities, and this in turn leads them to eschew the very activities that would relieve them of their boredom. The results of this paper failed to find support for this hypothesis. However, a strong association was found between boredom proneness or trait boredom and predictions about the meaningfulness of potential activities, suggesting that certain individuals may be more likely to experience persistent episodes of boredom.