The next time you utter the words 'I am bored', don't be surprised if someone asks you what kind? That's because scientists have discovered that there are five nuances of this one emotion - indifferent, calibrating, searching, reactant and apathetic!
The fact that this emotion that we all feel from time to time, can be classified into categories was first revealed by researchers in 2006. However, that study only resulted in the first four categories. In 2013, a group of researchers led by Thomas Goetz of the University of Konstanz in Germany, decided to conduct a follow-up study and see if the categories were still valid.
For their research they asked 63 university students and 80 high school students to answer smartphone-based surveys about their activities and experiences over the course of two weeks. The results that were published in the November 2013 edition of the scientific journal, Motivation and Emotion, not only confirmed the original four, but also, added one more - apathetic!
Curious to know what kind of boredom you suffer from? Read on . . .
According to the scientists this is the kind of boredom experienced when one is feeling relaxed, calm and withdrawn. In other words all those times when you are sitting in class staring at the ceiling and thinking 'I don't really care about this topic'.
if you are trying to really focus on this article, but your mind keeps wandering off wanting to read the one about the Verrückt water slide than you are experiencing what scientists call Calibrating boredom. According to the researchers, people that feel this the most are those that perform repetitive tasks and while they would like to decrease their boredom, they have no idea how to go about doing so.
You are experiencing searching boredom when a task makes you irritated and extremely restless and has you wishing to seek out more interesting activities to focus on.
This kind of boredom is a notch above searching and probably the worst kind - when an activity makes a person irritated to the point of aggression.
According to the researchers, those that suffer from this want to just leave the situation and the people they deem responsible for creating it - a group that could include teachers, bosses and even parents.
People suffering from this kind of boredom waste a lot of time thinking about what they would rather be doing and end up achieving very little.
This is the newcomer on the block and describes people who are bored to the level of feeling helpless. What is astonishing is that 36 percent of the high school students in the survey reported feeling this way. This worries the researchers because they believe apathetic boredom could contribute to depression. People suffering from it show very little interest in anything that is happening around them and start to develop a strong dislike towards everything and everyone.
Do you suffer from boredom? If so, be sure to vote for your favorite kind!