Menü mobile menu

Why boredom is interesting

Als Kalendereintrag speichern


What is boredom, and why do we experience it? Existing theories not only disagree, but offer conflicting predictions regarding its causes. I present a new model of state boredom as an affective indicator of unsuccessful attentional engagement in valued goal-congruent activity. According to the Meaning and Attentional Components (MAC) model, boredom is the result of (a) an attentional component (i.e., mismatches between cognitive demands and mental resources), and (b) a meaning component (i.e., mismatches between activities and valued goals). I show correlational and experimental evidence supporting the model’s basic premise that deficits in attention and meaning produce boredom independently of the other, do not interact, and are not highly correlated. In addition, people can be bored not only due to understimulation (ie when tasks are too easy) but due to overstimulation (ie when they are too hard) as well, and these different types of boredom have different consequences. This model explains not only when and why people become bored with external activities, but also when and why people become bored with their own thoughts (and why some cognitive activities may be more rewarding than others). Much like pain, boredom is neither good nor bad, but an important - if unpleasant - signal that we are not meaningfully engaged in what we are doing.


Erin Westgate (University of Florida)

will be held online via Zoom. The link will be sent automatically to ScienceCampus and DPZ members. Other interested persons are asked to sent an email ( to receive the link.

Datum und Uhrzeit 12.11.20 - 15:00 - 16:15 Anmeldung nicht notwendig

Veranstaltungsort will be held online via zoom


Leibniz ScienceCampus Primate Cognition

Kontakt Dr. Christian Schloegl
Leibniz ScienceCampus Primate Cognition
German Primate Center
Kellnerweg 4
37077 Göttingen
Zurück zur Übersicht