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!