Boredom, opportunity costs, and agency.
James Danckert

February 19, 2024, 11:00am - 12:00pm

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Please note that this talk is at 11am-12pm Melbourne time. Use Australian Eastern Daylight Time when daylight savings applies (first Sunday in October to first Sunday in April). Use Australian Eastern Standard Time for rest of the time.

Description:Boredom has been cast as a call to action, a self-regulatory signal prompting us to explore our environs for something more meaningful or purposeful to engage with. This casts the trait propensity to experience boredom frequently and intensely – so-called boredom proneness – as a conundrum; the recognition of the need for something meaningful to engage with, coupled with the failure to launch into action. I will present data from neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG) work and individual differences studies to show that boredom proneness can be cast as both a disengaged attentional state and a struggle to establish a sense of agency. In addition, I will show some recent work from our lab exploring the role of interoceptive awareness in boredom proneness. This work suggests that the highly boredom prone are hyper-aware of internal states but confused by them. This confluence may underlie the felt challenge to agency that is characteristic of boredom.

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