There’s a good chance you are here because you were bored, but have you ever wondered about the psychology behind boredom? Is it good, bad, not worth noting? Today we will be thinking about what boredom can do for your creativity, and whether the main effects are good or bad. If you’re still bored then, no problem! We will have a quiz for you with suggestions of things to do, sorted by interest and how much time you have.
Being bored is often not really a positive feeling, you might feel like you’re wasting time, or unhappy because you’re not enjoying yourself.
Funnily enough, boredom is quite an interesting topic to research. A study from the University of Limerick (Ireland) found that boredom might actually bring people to do good things (van Tilburg, 2011), and other studies have found that boredom increases your creativity (Zomorody, 2007). Van Tilburg’s study found that, perhaps paradoxically, boredom might lead people to engage in pro-social behaviour. Even behaviour which has negative by-effects such as blood donations, or menial tasks such as cleaning your house. Perhaps it’s because sometimes when you are bored you might think “well, I’ve really got nothing better to do, so I might as well…”
He found that it can also make you more creative, as boredom often arises from a sense of tediousness that arises from doing things the exact same way every time. This forces people to think along more creative lines, and come up with more original ideas (Tilburg qtd. in Hill, 2011).
We at psych2go are sure you can relate when we say that often when we are bored, we do want to feel some kind of purpose, or at least do something, anything. So we came up with this quiz that gives you some tailored suggestions of what you could be doing right now to feel more productive (or just not to feel bored).
How often do you feel bored? What did you think of the suggestions the quiz gave you? Do you think smart phones have influenced our ability to be comfortably bored? Let us know in the comments or on tumblr or facebook.
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