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The Positive Psychology of Interested Adolescents

Abstract

Using the experience sampling method (ESM) and a diverse national sample of young people, this study identifies two groups of adolescents: those who experience chronic interest in everyday life experiences and another who experience widespread boredom. These groups are compared against several measures of psychological well-being: global self-esteem, locus of control, and emotions regarding one's future prospects. It is hypothesized that a generalized chronic experience of interest, an innate physiological function, can be used as a signal for a larger measure of psychological health, while chronic boredom is a sign of psychic dysfunction. A strong association between the experience of interest and well-being was found.

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Hunter, J.P., Csikszentmihalyi, M. The Positive Psychology of Interested Adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 32, 27–35 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021028306392

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  • interest
  • boredom
  • adolescence
  • positive psychology