New study looks at the roots of boredom

People feel bored when they are unable to engage in satisfying activity. This is according to new research published in the Association for Psychological Science journal Perspectives of Psychological Science, which defined boredom as an adverse state of wanting while not being able to take part in such behaviours.

John Eastwood, a Psychological Scientist at York University in Ontario, Canada and colleagues at the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo discovered these inabilities stem from failures in one of the brain's networks.

The researchers demonstrated that people grow bored when they have difficulty paying attention to the internal or external information required when taking part in satisfying activity, are aware they are struggling to keep focused or think the environment is to blame for their adverse state.

It was noted that while boredom can be a serious problem, the issue continues to be misunderstood, with the study of the topic remaining obscure and niche.

Chartered Psychologist Dr Sandi Mann from the University of Central Lancashire comments:

"This confirms the idea that being bored is not about having nothing to do as most children would have us believe – it is very rare to be in a situation in which there is literally nothing to do – but it is about having nothing to do that is of interest at that time."