October 7, 2022

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Now we know what makes us boring, science tells us

The characteristics, jobs, and hobbies of people perceived as uninterested were analyzed by an English research team who identified what the boredom stereotype was.

While we probably do our best to be fun, some people may be seen as heavy and dull for others. But what really makes us boring? A research team from the University of Essex in the UK found this in an article just published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin Examine the characteristics, jobs, and hobbies of people considered boring.

The study, which examined more than 500 people in five experiments in five different studies, identified salient features of the boredom stereotype and highlighted that, described as boring, it is also seen as lacking in heat and personal competence and is socially avoided. In the first two studies involving a total of 463 people, researchers asked participants to write a list of boring characteristics and then rate them: This led to the five being identified. Jobs and many hobbies They are perceived as monotonous and annoying:

  • data analysis, Dealing with accounting, financial advisory, insurance, cleaning and working in a bank emerged as the least attractive job;
  • Sleep, practice your religionWatching TV, watching animals, and doing math are some of the most boring activities.

For questions about the characteristics of boredom, participants attributed aspects such as a lack of interests, a lack of humor, reticence and a little whining. “The more common the characteristics of boredom describe a person, the more people are perceived as boring – Explanation of the team -. This is important to The social consequences of this perceptionBecause stereotyped boredom leads to avoidance of such people“.

In two other studies conducted by the team, participants were shown descriptions of fictional people based on “boring characteristics” that appeared in the first study (including indicators such as “uneducated” or “has a monotonous voice”), which indicated that who was perceived to be It’s actually boring as lacking in warmth and personal competence, which is what it was Avoid it socially.

In the most recent study, when study participants were asked to say how much reward they would accept financially for spending time with a boring person depicted in a cartoon, the amounts of money awarded for putting up with boring things were significantly higher than that. Intended for less boring people. “Perceptions can change, but people may not take the time to talk to those who have “boring” jobs or hobbies. Choose instead to avoid themDr Wijnand Van Tilburg of the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex and lead author of the study said. Therefore, these people do not have the opportunity to prove to others that they are wrong and refute these negative stereotypes“.

However, what most amazed scientists is the fact that boring people are also seen Incompetent, although these two aspects are not related. “I would never have thought that accountants are seen as boring and not perfect and efficient people to do a good job on my tax return – Van Tilburg added -. The truth is that people like bankers and accountants are highly capable and have power in society…maybe we should try not to bother and stereotype them as boring!“.

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