Boring Into the State of Boredom Through Age Groups: Types of Boredom and Strategies to Increase Motivation and Positive Life Outcomes

Boring Into the State of Boredom Through Age Groups: Types of Boredom and Strategies to Increase Motivation and Positive Life Outcomes

Bonnie A. Plummer (National University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7582-5.ch004

Abstract

The research area regarding boredom has received increased import in the past several years owning to its relationship to risky and unhealthy behaviors. Boredom also has a profound effect on school aged children and adolescents along with the growing elder-hood population. From the boredom proneness scale (BPS), multiple studies have address everything from psychological correlates to boredom as avenue for creativity. This chapter reviews the research in this area including the types and causes of boredom and positive strategies to address trait and state boredom.
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Background

Whether we use the terms twiddling our thumbs or bored stiff or the idle rich, the terms implies a lack of interest and a lack of desire to pursue other interests. It suggests there is a lack of stimulation within the environment or the person is unable to move beyond the present situation/environment to find something of interest. They are disengaged from the present either internally or externally.

There are many theories about the origin of the concept of boredom and the antecedent of boredom. From the wall of ruins of Pompeian there is graffiti about boredom from the Ist century (Burton, 2014). While boredom is an emotion it is also classified as a phobia with an irrational fear for idleness. The term thaasophobia is used to describe this condition (Schuessleter, 2010).

With the advent on Christianity boredom was considered a sin. This sin however could be replaced by the virtue of joy. The introduction of this term in literature dates from around the 1700's. Pinskter (1980) writes regarding Soren Kierkegaard (1843) a Danish philosopher. At age 30 Kierkegaard, writing in Either/Or: A Fragment of Life defines boredom as:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Flow: Active engagement including motivation and attention.

Trait Boredom: Boredom exists within a person or personality type.

School-Hood: Any individual who is engaged in a formal learning program.

Boredom: An adverse state where one is unable to find things of interest for mental engagement.

State Boredom: Boredom is created through the environment.

Elder-Hood: An age between retirement and the nursing home.

Boredom-Proness: A personal disposition with a lack of engagement and/or interest.

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