Can boredom lead to breaking public-health rules?

This study demonstrated the association was more prominent as participants' social conservatism increased

Can boredom lead to breaking public-health rules?

Photo for representation only. Source: iStock.

Toronto, June 13

Covid pandemic has brought a drastic change to our lives. It has bound our lives with restrictions, many of which have become heavily politicised.

But, people who are more prone to boredom can find it threatening to their identity and are thus more likely to break public-health rules, according to new psychology research.

While previous research demonstrated a connection between being highly prone to boredom and breaking social-distancing rules, this study demonstrated the association was more prominent as participants' social conservatism increased.

"Many public-health measures such as wearing a mask or getting a vaccine have become highly politicised," said James Danckert, Professor of psychology at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

"People who find these measures a threat to their identity, and who suffer from boredom a lot, find breaking the rules helps them re-establish a sense of meaning and identity. Boredom threatens our need to make meaning out of life and some things such as politics can strengthen our sense of identity and meaning," Danckert added.

For the study, researchers asked more than 900 people to respond to questions about boredom, political ideology and adhering to public-health measures such as wearing a mask or not socialising outside one's household. They then applied a variety of statistical analysis techniques to explore the relations that underlie these elements.

"Many of the restrictions have become heavily politicised and much of the messaging from governments has focused on personal responsibility," Danckert said.

"But this can become finger-pointing and blaming, and most of us recoil from that. What we need is to promote our shared values—the things we all have in common and the positive things we can get back if we all pull together.

"It can be difficult for some people to cope with boredom, and that can have serious consequences for an individual and for society at large. Boredom is not a trivial experience - it's worth paying attention to it," he noted. — IANS

Top Stories

541 die in 24 hours as India records 41,831 new Covid-19 cases

541 die in 24 hours as India records 41,831 new Covid-19 cases

Tally reaches 3,16,55,824; death toll climbs to 4,24,351 wit...

10 states leading Covid surge told to go in for curbs

10 states leading Covid surge told to go in for curbs

As many as 99 districts in these states are reporting more t...

10-hour talks at Moldo as India, China discuss pullback of troops

10-hour talks at Moldo as India, China discuss pullback of troops

Gogra, Hot Springs, Depsang friction points

UHBVN rapped over faulty meters, provisional bills

UHBVN rapped over faulty meters, provisional bills

DHBVN MD summoned over failure to file reply

No confusion, Navjot Singh Sidhu runs party, I head govt: Capt Amarinder Singh

No confusion, Navjot Singh Sidhu runs party, I head govt: Capt Amarinder Singh

Amarinder dispels talk of two power centres in state

Cities

View All