Bored? This is anything but tedious
Boredom: Children are quick to distastefully proclaim it and adults are quick to deny it. But University of Calgary Greek and Roman Studies professor Peter Toohey says there is nothing wrong with boredom after all. In fact, he credits the unappreciated emotion for inspiring some of the most important ideas and creative works in history.
If youve ever felt fed up and bored and have done something about it, Toohey, also the author of Boredom: A Lively History, says youve experienced one of boredoms benefits. Boredom is hard wired into us. Like other emotions, it is adaptive. It exists to assist human beings to flourish, says Toohey. Just as an emotion like disgust can protect you from eating toxic food, so can boredom protect you from toxic social circumstances. It can force you to act in a self-beneficial way.
But thats not all. Toohey maintains that boredom intensifies our self-perception by causing us to step back and to look within ourselves. It encourages contemplation, daydreaming and innovation. Andy Warhol famously claimed to he liked to be bored. It may have helped him generate new ideas.
But there is a downside.
If unrelieved, boredom is a dangerous emotion. It can intensify and spill over into a manic angry reaction and from there into unrelieved depression. You can witness this with incarcerated animals and humans, says Toohey.
Boredom is like an early warning system. If youre feeling bored you shouldnt think its crazy or silly. Its a proper reaction to circumstances that can be harmful and you need to remedy them.
Toohey examines neurological and psychological theories of boredom. He studies boredom as a stimulus for art and literature, looks at boredom in cultures as diverse as the Australian Aboriginals and the ancient Romans, and discusses the role of boredom in literature and art as different as that of Jeffrey Archer, Albert Camus, the early Christians, as well as Albrecht Dürer and Edgar Degas.
Provided by University of Calgary
- Bored to death? It's possible Feb 09, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Driving thrills combat boredom Jan 04, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Seven-year itch? Boredom can hurt a marriage Apr 23, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Professor says hate speech is akin to obscenity Jan 25, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- As long as original version still available, tweaking Twain is OK, professor says Jan 12, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
9 hours ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
A new study shows there is a gender gap when it comes to behavior and self-control in American young children – one that does not appear to exist in children in Asia.
Psychology & Psychiatry 13 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
Psychology & Psychiatry 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
What effect does a father's depression have on his young son or daughter? When fathers report a high level of emotional intimacy in their marriage, their children benefit, said a University of Illinois study.
Psychology & Psychiatry 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Preschoolers universally recognize that one's choices are not always free – that our decisions may be constrained by social obligations to be nice to others or follow rules set by parents ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Do ethicists engage in better moral behavior than other professors? The answer is no. Nor are they more likely than nonethicists to act according to values they espouse, according to researchers from the ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
46 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A man who had contracted the coronavirus has died in Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll in the kingdom from the SARS-like virus to 17, the health ministry announced on its website on Wednesday.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
GlaxoSmithKline PLC says it's starting an unusual collaboration with the U.S. government to develop several antibiotics for both bioterrorism threats and bacterial infections resistant to current medicines.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Every day, their baby stopped breathing, his collapsed bronchus blocking the crucial flow of air to his lungs. April and Bryan Gionfriddo watched helplessly, just praying that somehow the dire predictions weren't true.
9 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
As the world prepares for what may be the next pandemic strain of influenza virus, in the H7N9 bird flu, a new UC Irvine study reveals that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was deadliest for people under the age of 65, while ...
9 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Over the last decade, the number of American children who die each year awaiting an organ donation dropped by more than half, new research reveals. And increasing numbers of children are receiving ...
56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0