Study Investigates How Boredom Affects Mental Health
HealthGeekss | July 10,2019
If people are more prone to boredom, this state can affect negatively their mental health. What happens in the brain when we are bored and how one can deal with this boredom? : Study Investigates.
Sammy perone, assistant professor at Washington State University in Pullman said that “Everybody experience Boredom.” Additionally he said:” Some people experience it a lot which is unhealthy.”
Keeping in mind above reasons, perone and colleagues conducted a study to investigate the structure of boredom in the brain.
The study published in journal psychophysiology stated that how one can overcome boredom so that it does not end up with mental illness.
According to Perone :”we wanted to look at how to deal with boredom effectively.”
Before study, researchers believe that there would be differences between the brains of people such as who react negatively to boredom and who did not have any ill effects of boredom.
However during testing by electroencephalogram researchers believe was proved wrong.
“Previously, we thought people who react more negatively to boredom would have specific brain waves prior to being bored. But in our baseline tests, we couldn’t differentiate the brain waves. It was only when they were in a state of boredom that the difference surfaced,” Perone explains.
For the research, there were 54 participants who were asked to fill a survey about their boredom pattern and how they reacted to boredom.
After the EEG test the participants were assigned a tedious tasks by researchers: They had to turn eight virtual pegs on a screen as the computer highlighted them. Each participant performed the activity for 10 minutes and researchers used EEG to measure the brain activity while they were performing tedious task.
“I’ve never done [this activity], it’s really tedious,” Perone said. “But in researching previous experiments, this was rated as the most boring task tested. That’s what we needed,” he explains.
Especially assessing the brain waves via EEG test, Researchers looked at the activity levels in right frontal and left frontal area of the brain.
This is because right frontal area was activated when individuals experience negative emotions and anxiety.
And left frontal area was more active when someone was looking for stimulation and distraction from a situation by thinking differently.
The participants who were more prone to boredom on daily basic displayed more activity in right frontal of the brain area.
“We found that the people who are good at coping with boredom in everyday life, based on the surveys, shifted more toward the left. Those that don’t cope as well in everyday life shifted more right.”- Perone said.
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