Over recent years, research has been conducted pointing to the negative impact boredom has within the classroom. More and more children are dropping out of school, and they are claiming boredom to be the main culprit. Gail Cornwall with U.S. News asked our own Dr. Westgate, as well as other relevant boredom researchers, to explain why boredom happens and how parents can help their bored children.
Boredom occurs when we are engaged in something that is either too hard, too easy, or is not sufficiently meaningful to us. In the classroom setting, boredom likely leads to disruptive behavior, as it is linked to increased attention-seeking and risk-taking. Deviant behavior is, therefore, commonly the result of a child being bored, rather than a characteristic of the child's personality.
Given all of these negative outcomes that can result from boredom, what can we do to reduce boredom? Dr. Westgate says that the answer has much to do with trying to assign more meaning to the boring work that students may be given. We can also reframe our mindset when we get bored with an assignment by thinking about the "silver linings."
To learn more about what you can to do combat boredom, click here to read the article!
Everyone has experienced boredom before. It is a universal emotional state that we may find ourselves slipping into throughout the day. Even though we all get bored, it emerges without any voluntary control, and sometimes when we least want it to. Why do we get bored? If boredom is so common in our lives, is there a purpose to it?
Richard Sima of The Washing Post asked our own Dr. Erin Westgate to reveal some of the important facts and characteristics about boredom that she has discovered in her research. According to Dr. Westgate, boredom should be viewed as a sort of emotional signaling system that tells us whatever we are currently doing is not meaningful or properly engaging. Several experiments that Dr. Westgate has conducted emphasize the power of boredom as an emotional drive to seek novelty and other stimuli that are more engaging than the current one. Several of those experiments involve participants choosing to shock themselves instead of experiencing the discomfort of a boring task.
With all of these positives, are there any negative consequences to boredom? Can being bored motivate us to act aggressively or immorally? You can find the answers to these questions and learn more about Dr. Westgate's research by clicking here to read the article!
On August 17, 2022, Dr. Shige Oishi and our own Dr. Erin Westgate were awarded the Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize for their phenomenon publication: A psychologically rich life: Beyond happiness and meaning. This award recognizes the work of authors who have been viewed as providing the most innovative theoretical contribution to social and personality psychology within a given year.
In the present work, Dr. Oishi and Dr. Westgate propose a new, distinct conceptualization of what people consider a good life: psychological richness. Supported by empirical evidence, the authors argue that happiness, meaning, and psychological richness are all related but separate aspects of a good life. A psychologically rich life is characterized by a variety of interesting and perspective-changing experiences. Throughout their study, the authors indicate that psychological richness is an influential characteristic of what people think a good life should feature, and a number of people were seen to have chosen a psychologically rich life over a happy or meaningful life.
Are there people who are more inclined to live a psychologically rich life? Is psychological richness good for us? How did the researchers distinguish psychological richness as a category? To find the answers to these questions, as well as more vital information on the good life, click here to read the article!
In Defense of Daydreaming
Throughout the day, you might often catch yourself slipping out from reality and into a world of your own creation. Although daydreaming is mostly viewed as being an easy escape from the external environment around you, it is actually a much more complicated and important mental task. With daydreaming being such a common occurrence throughout any person's day, it is crucial that we fully understand the nature of these introspective thoughts and learn how to better slip into our imagination.
New York Times author Melinda Wenner Moyer asks our Dr. Westgate, along with other psychologists, many fundamental questions about daydreaming and thinking, in general. When should we be letting our attention shift into these personal thoughts of ours? How can we avoid drifting into negative worries instead of a fantastical world or a favorite memory? How can daydreaming benefit me?
Click here to read the intriguing article!
Why do people - even professional runners - get bored while going on long runs? And what does it mean? Chris Halter discusses in his article reasons behind getting bored on runs after talking to Dr. Erin Westgate. He also shares tips and ways to deal with boredom (like making runs more challenging, listening to music...) To find out more tips and information on our feelings of boredom, click here!
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