Advertisement

Is It a Good Thing to Be Bored?

  • Peter TooheyEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter consists of an introduction by the expert in Boredom Studies Professor of Classics Peter Toohey (Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary, Canada); the author of the book Boredom: A lively history, and an expert in tracing the history of this emotion from ancient times, as we can appreciate in papers such as “Some ancient notions of boredom” and “Acedia in late classical antiquity.” Considered a leading figure in the field of boredom and the ideal researcher to explain what is happening with boredom right now, his opening goes throughout the different approaches to boredom the authors will introduce henceforth. Professor Toohey’s contribution is a reflection on the state of affairs of the study, the understanding, and the research on boredom nowadays, just at this point before the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century.

Keywords

Boredom Children Creativity Daydreaming Inactivity 

References

  1. BBC News. (2010, November 12). People spend ‘half their waking hours daydreamin’. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-11741350. Accessed March 20, 2019.
  2. Brodsky, J. (1995). In praise of boredom (adapted from Dartmouth College commencement address). Harper’s Magazine, 290(1738), 11.Google Scholar
  3. Christoff, K., Gordon, A. M., Smallwood, J., Smith, R., & Schooler, J. W. (2009). Experience sampling during fMRI reveals default network and executive system contributions to mind wandering. PNAS, 106(21), 8719–8724.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0900234106.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Eastwood, J. D., Frischen, A., Fenske, M. J., & Smilek, D. (2012). The unengaged mind. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(5), 482–495.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691612456044.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Farman, J. (2018). Delayed response: The art of waiting from the ancient to the instant world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Godwin, C. A., Hunter, M. A., Bezdek, M. A., Lieberman, G., Elkin-Frankston, S., Romero, V. L., et al. (2017). Functional connectivity within and between intrinsic brain networks correlates with trait mind wandering. Neuropsychologia, 103, 140–153.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.07.006.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Hoffman, E. (2016). Creative play. How to be bored (pp. 149–156). New York, NY: Picador.Google Scholar
  8. James, V. (2018). On boredom. CAM (Cambridge Alumni Magazine), 84. https://www.cam.ac.uk/cammagazine/benefitsofboredom. Accessed March 20,2019.
  9. Killingsworth, M. A., & Gilbert, D. T. (2010). A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Science, 330(6006), 932.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1192439.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Lagan, B. (2019, March 4). Long showers banned as Australia’s dry spell worsens. The Times. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/long-showers-banned-as-australia-s-dry-spell-worsens-ntv8jzfd8. Accessed March 21, 2019.
  11. Mann, M. (2017a). Yawn: Adventures in boredom. New York, NY: FSG Originals.Google Scholar
  12. Mann, S. (2017b). The science of boredom: The upside (and downside) of downtime. London, UK: Hachette.Google Scholar
  13. Maushart, S. (2011). The winter of our disconnect. London, UK: Profile Books.Google Scholar
  14. McCall, R. (2017, October 25). A new study says daydreaming is a sign of creativity and intelligence. IFLScience. https://www.iflscience.com/brain/science-says-daydreaming-is-a-sign-of-creativity-and-intelligence/. Accessed March 21, 2019.
  15. Moynihan, A. B., Van Tilburg, W. A. P., Igou, E. R., Wisman, A., Donnelly, A. E., & Mulcaire, J. B. (2015). Eaten up by boredom: Consuming food to escape awareness of the bored self. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 369.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00369.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Paul, P. (2019, February 2). Let children get bored again. New York Times, p. SR3.Google Scholar
  17. Seneca. (1970). Epistles 1–65. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Streitfeld, D. (1994, April 10). The intricate solitude of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1994/04/10/the-intricate-solitude-of-gabriel-garcia-marquez/4b20cf31-5ac5-4726-89e5-de30f8c7c70a/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ff60dd4f157b. Accessed March 21, 2019.
  19. University of British Columbia. (2009, May 12). Brain’s problem-solving function at work when we daydream. UBC News. https://news.ubc.ca/2009/05/11/archive-media-releases-2009-mr-09-054/. Accessed March 20, 2019.
  20. Vatansever, D., Menon, D. K., & Stamatakis, E. A. (2017). Default mode contributions to automated information processing. PNAS, 114(48), 12821–12826.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1710521114.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Zomorodi, M. (2017). Bored and brilliant: How spacing out can unlock your most productive and creative self. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations