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!
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