Situational meaninglessness and state boredom: Cross-sectional and experience-sampling findings

Situational meaninglessness and state boredom: Cross-sectional and experience-sampling findings Theories of boredom assert that boredom is a product of situational meaninglessness. We conducted two studies to test if the perceived meaningfulness of a situation is associated with state boredom, above and beyond sadness, personality traits, and boredom proneness. In Study 1, 105 participants (72.4% female: mean age = 33.9 years, SD = 17.5) described situations in which they experienced boredom, no boredom, engagement, or sadness. They then rated the level of state boredom, sadness, and meaninglessness that they experienced in that situation. As hypothesized, state boredom was associated with situational meaninglessness, before and after controlling for sadness. In Study 2, 148 participants (73.0% female; mean age = 19.2 years, SD = 1.8) first provided baseline data on personality traits and boredom proneness. Through a smartphone app-based experience-sampling method, they then responded to a brief questionnaire multiple times a day, across 7 days. The questionnaire asked about the nature of their current activity, whether the activity was done alone or with other people, and their affective state. Results from multilevel modelling of 3022 entries suggest that perceived meaningfulness of the activity was negatively associated with state boredom, above and beyond sadness, personality, and boredom proneness. We also found that being with others during the activity acted as a moderator; activities lower in perceived meaningfulness were associated with higher ratings of state boredom when done with others than when done alone. These results demonstrate that perceptions of meaninglessness characterize state boredom. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Motivation and Emotion Springer Journals

Situational meaninglessness and state boredom: Cross-sectional and experience-sampling findings

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Psychology; Psychology, general; Personality and Social Psychology; Clinical Psychology
ISSN
0146-7239
eISSN
1573-6644
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11031-018-9693-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Theories of boredom assert that boredom is a product of situational meaninglessness. We conducted two studies to test if the perceived meaningfulness of a situation is associated with state boredom, above and beyond sadness, personality traits, and boredom proneness. In Study 1, 105 participants (72.4% female: mean age = 33.9 years, SD = 17.5) described situations in which they experienced boredom, no boredom, engagement, or sadness. They then rated the level of state boredom, sadness, and meaninglessness that they experienced in that situation. As hypothesized, state boredom was associated with situational meaninglessness, before and after controlling for sadness. In Study 2, 148 participants (73.0% female; mean age = 19.2 years, SD = 1.8) first provided baseline data on personality traits and boredom proneness. Through a smartphone app-based experience-sampling method, they then responded to a brief questionnaire multiple times a day, across 7 days. The questionnaire asked about the nature of their current activity, whether the activity was done alone or with other people, and their affective state. Results from multilevel modelling of 3022 entries suggest that perceived meaningfulness of the activity was negatively associated with state boredom, above and beyond sadness, personality, and boredom proneness. We also found that being with others during the activity acted as a moderator; activities lower in perceived meaningfulness were associated with higher ratings of state boredom when done with others than when done alone. These results demonstrate that perceptions of meaninglessness characterize state boredom.

Journal

Motivation and EmotionSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 3, 2018

References

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