میلی برای تمایلات: کسالت و ارتباط آن با آلکسیتیمیا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|31193||2015||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 42, Issue 6, April 2007, Pages 1035–1045
Participants completed self-report scales of boredom, emotional awareness and external orientation. Structural equation modeling indicated that boredom, emotional awareness and external orientation are distinctly measurable but correlated – the bored individual is unaware of emotions and externally-oriented. Furthermore, although the bored person typically complains that the external world fails to engage them, the present findings suggest the underlying problem may be in the person’s inability to consciously access and understand their emotions. The present findings and accompanying literature review challenge the simplistic notion that boredom is never more than a trivial annoyance resulting from an under-stimulating environment.
Boredom is typically thought of as a common, perhaps even trivial annoyance that can easily be remedied by plunging into interesting activities. Indeed, we often react with disdain upon hearing complaints of boredom – there are so many interesting things to do! How could anyone possibly be bored? This conception of boredom, however, is overly simplistic. As Barthes (1975) has succinctly stated: “It can’t be helped: boredom is not simple” (p. 25). The question itself, of how anyone can be bored despite innumerable available activities, points to the possibility that boredom is rooted in something more than an impoverished environment. Empirical evidence suggests that boredom is prevalent. References from the 1960s to the 1980s suggest that anywhere from 18% to 50% of the population is bored (Klapp, 1986). A recent survey indicated that 51% of teens aged 12–19 report “getting bored easily” (GPC Research & Health Canada, 2003). Furthermore, a survey of consumer attitudes conducted by Yankelovich Partners (2000, as cited in Kuntz, 2000) found that 71% of respondents said they yearned for more novelty in life; the authors concluded that “we are bored despite living in remarkable times” (p. WK7). Although a common human experience, boredom is anything but trivial; in fact, it is associated with significant emotional distress. A number of studies have found correlations between chronic boredom and a range of psycho-social problems. Most notably, correlations between boredom and various types of negative affect have been well documented – especially in studies that have correlated boredom proneness with depression and anxiety (Gordon et al., 1997 and Vodanovich and Verner, 1991). The tendency to become bored has also been positively linked with measures of hopelessness (Farmer & Sundberg, 1986), loneliness (Farmer & Sundberg, 1986), hostility and anger (Rupp & Vodanovich, 1997), amotivational orientation (Farmer & Sundberg, 1986), and somatization complaints (Sommers & Vodanovich, 2000). Furthermore, addictive behaviours such as overeating (Wilson, 1986), gambling (Blaszczynski, McConaghy, & Frankova, 1990), and alcohol or drug use (Paulson, Coombs, & Richardson, 1990) have also been linked with boredom. These associations with negative affect and maladaptive behaviours are particularly disconcerting given that boredom is common and often not taken seriously in psychological research or in society more generally. In contrast to the prevailing view, the ‘classical’ psychodynamic approach to defining and understanding boredom has suggested that boredom is a complex and significant experience resulting from inner psychological dynamics. Lipps (1904, as cited in Lewinsky, 1943) provided one of the earliest psychodynamic descriptions of boredom. He states that boredom can be described “as a feeling of displeasure due to the conflict between the urge for intense psychic occupation and the lack of stimulation or the incapacity to allow oneself to be stimulated” (p. 148). Fenichel (1953) expanded upon this definition, adding that the urge for psychic occupation is accompanied by an inhibition of activity and that the bored individual “does not know how one ought or wants to be active” (p. 292). Essentially, Fenichel claims that the bored individual does not lack something to do; rather, he or she is unable to designate the type of activity required to satisfy the need for stimulation, which, in turn, results in intense conflict and displeasure. Greenson (1953) summarizes boredom as: A state of dissatisfaction and disinclination to action; a state of longing and an inability to designate what is longed for; a sense of emptiness; a passive, expectant attitude with the hope that the external world will supply the satisfaction; a distorted sense of time in which time seems to stand still (p. 7). Classical psychodynamic explanations of boredom emphasize that boredom is the result of a stalemate between opposing forces in the mind; that is, while the ideational content of an instinctual aim is kept out of awareness, its accompanying emotional tension remains conscious, resulting in a sense of displeasure. However, because the instinctual aim was briefly made conscious before being repressed, the individual retains some sense of the impulse without being fully aware of its content; consequently, the individual “wishes he had something to do, but does not know what” ( Wangh, 1979, p. 517). Thus, the bored individual’s claim that he or she has “no wish to do anything” is a consequence of the fact that any stimuli that could feasibly satisfy the individual is too similar to the repressed aim, while all other stimuli are too far removed to satisfy the impulse ( Lewinsky, 1943). In this view, the processes that lead to boredom are connected with two other important aspects of mental functioning: a lack of fantasy life and a lack of emotional awareness. First, it is theorized that a lack of fantasy life – both self-created and participatory – is consistently exhibited by bored individuals (Wangh, 1975). For example, Greenson (1953) maintains that chronic boredom is characterized by an “impoverishment of the fantasy production” (p. 11). In this view, the inhibition of fantasy is due to the unconscious fear that the fantasy might lead to libidinal or aggressive impulses similar to those that were originally repressed by the ego, which in turn may lead to the experience of danger or pain (Wangh, 1975). Second, a lack of emotional awareness is also associated with boredom. Specifically, it is thought that the ego’s repression of the id’s instinctual aims leads to a deficiency in the bored individual’s ability to recognize, label, and monitor his or her emotions. Bernstein (1975) has concisely argued that “[t]he inability to experience one’s own feelings directly and intensely is the root of chronic boredom” (p. 518). Such deficits in emotional processing – namely, difficulty experiencing and identifying feelings and an inhibited fantasy life – have been explored and quantified by Sifneos (1972) who coined the term ‘alexithymia’. Alexithymia is characterized by a difficulty in describing or identifying feelings, the use of an externally-oriented, reality-based cognitive style (“la pensee operatoire”), difficulty distinguishing between bodily sensations and feelings, and an inhibited inner emotional and fantasy life ( Apfel and Sifneos, 1979, Lesser and Lesser, 1983 and Taylor et al., 1991). More recently, ‘alexithymia’ has been further developed and operationalized according to a well-validated measurement tool by Taylor and colleagues (Bagby et al., 1994, Taylor et al., 1990 and Taylor et al., 1986). Notably, this newer conceptualization of alexithymia emphasizes deficits in the cognitive processing of emotion rather than the traditional emphasis on intra-psychic conflicts. Furthermore, the most current and psychometrically sound measure of alexithymia – the twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20; Bagby et al., 1994) – has eliminated items which directly assess imaginal activity (for psychometric reasons), thus somewhat changing the defining characteristics of alexithymia. Despite the relative abundance of psychodynamic literature on the relation between alexithymic characteristics and boredom, this association has not been empirically investigated. Therefore, the present study sought to empirically establish if and how boredom proneness is related to alexithymic characteristics. Finding a connection between boredom and alexithymia would support the psychodynamic definition of boredom; that is, the notion that those who suffer from boredom also exhibit impoverished emotional awareness. Furthermore, such a finding would suggest the possibility that boredom, so defined, is not simply caused by an impoverished environment, but rather, is the result of an internal psychological process.