Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 119–144 | Cite as

Evaluating the Relationship Between Boredom and Academic Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis

  • Virginia M. C. TzeEmail author
  • Lia M. Daniels
  • Robert M. Klassen
Review Article


The experience of academic boredom among students may be universal; in fact, almost all students complain at least occasionally about being bored in class or while studying. Despite the perceived negative influence of boredom on learning, there has been no synthesis of empirical findings underscoring how boredom relates to academic outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to meta-analyze the research exploring the relationship between students’ academic boredom and their motivation, study strategies and behaviors, and performance. A total of 29 studies, involving 19,052 students, met the inclusion criteria. The overall effect size, \( \overline{r} \) = −.24, was significant, p < .001. In subgroup analyses, the negative effect sizes were found to differ between secondary and post-secondary students, and boredom experienced in class had greater negative impact on students’ academic outcomes than boredom experienced while studying. In addition, a significant differential impact of boredom on academic motivation, study strategies and behaviors, and achievement was found. These findings suggest that education professionals should identify strategies to alleviate students’ boredom in academic settings.


Meta-analysis Academic boredom Learning and achievement 


References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the meta-analysis. The in-text citations to studies selected for meta-analysis are not preceded by asterisks.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia M. C. Tze
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lia M. Daniels
    • 1
  • Robert M. Klassen
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.The University of YorkYorkUK

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