Being bored at work can make us more creative, study finds
Most of us think of being bored at work as a negative experience, but a new study suggests it can have positive results including an increase in creativity because it gives us time to daydream.
That is the finding of a study being presented today, Wednesday 9 January 2013, by Dr Sandi Mann and Rebekah Cadman from the University of Central Lancashire at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society Division of Occupational Psychology. The Conference is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Chester.
Dr Mann and Ms Cadman conducted two studies. In the first 40 people were asked to carry out a boring task (copying numbers out of a telephone directory) for 15 minutes, and were then asked to complete another task (coming up with different uses for a pair of polystyrene cups) that gave them a chance to display their creativity.
It turned out that the 40 people who had first copied out the telephone numbers were more creative than a control group of 40 who had just been asked to come up with uses for the cups.
To see if daydreaming was a factor in this effect, a second boring task was introduced that allowed even more daydreaming than the boring writing task.. This second study saw 30 people copying out the numbers as before, but also included a second group of 30 reading rather than writing them.
Again the researchers found that the people in the control group were least creative, but the people who had just read the names were more creative than those who had to write them out. This suggests that more passive boring activities, like reading or perhaps attending meetings, can lead to more creativity - whereas writing, by reducing the scope for daydreaming, reduces the creativity-enhancing effects of boredom.
Dr Mann says: "Boredom at work has always been seen as something to be eliminated, but perhaps we should be embracing it in order to enhance our creativity. What we want to do next is to see what the practical implications of this finding are. Do people who are bored at work become more creative in other areas of their work - or do they go home and write novels?"
Provided by The British Psychological Society
- Do doodle: Research shows doodling can help memory recall Feb 27, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- People are biased against creative ideas, studies find Aug 26, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Scientists search for source of creativity: Calling it a 'right brain' phenomenon is too simple, researchers say Mar 05, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Is there a hidden bias against creativity? Nov 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Experiencing different cultures enhances creativity Jun 30, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- 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
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
4 hours ago 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?
21 hours ago 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...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Most Medicare beneficiaries treated in inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) exhibit characteristics associated with hospital readmission, according to a report prepared for the National Association ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 17 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Skydivers show the same level of physical stress before every jump whether a first-timer or experienced jumper, say Northumbria researchers.
Psychology & Psychiatry 17 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Children of depressed parents pick up on their parents' sadness—whether mom or dad realizes their mood or not.
Psychology & Psychiatry 22 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 1 |
(HealthDay)—As many as one in five American children under the age of 17 has a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, according to a new federal report.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 16, 2013 | 2 / 5 (4) | 1 |
(Medical Xpress)—Whether we're listening to Bach or the blues, our brains are wired to make music-color connections depending on how the melodies make us feel, according to new research from the University ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
18 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
17 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
15 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |