Increase of autonomic arousal by boredom.

  title={Increase of autonomic arousal by boredom.},
  author={Harvey London and Daniel S. P. Schubert and Dustin Washburn},
  journal={Journal of abnormal psychology},
  volume={80 1},
Two experiments tested the effect of boredom on galvanic skin potential, skin conductance, and heart rate as autonomic measures of arousal. The results support Berlyne's 1960 hypothesis that boredom increases autonomic arousal. An intelligence measure correlated positively with rated boredom on the experimental task. The subjective state of boredom was seen as resulting from an inadequate rate of information flow. Inadequate information flow may result in increased autonomic arousal because of… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Alertness and clear thinking as characteristics of high naturally occurring autonomic nervous system arousal.

  • D. Schubert
  • Psychology
    The Journal of general psychology
  • 1977
Studies of the effect of induced mood on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) suggested that naturally occurring mood might also covary with the ANS, and Hypothalamic serotonin concentration was suggested as a central factor producing the covariations between the mood indices (alertness and clear thinking).

Characterizing the psychophysiological signature of boredom

Boredom yielded dynamic psychophysiological responses that differed from the other emotional states and may help to resolve divergent conceptualizations of boredom in the extant literature and to enhance the understanding and treatment of clinical syndromes in which self-reported boredom is a prominent symptom.

Acute Cardiovascular Exercise Counteracts the Effect of Ego-Depletion on Attention: How Ego-Depletion Increases Boredom and Compromises Directed Attention

Prior research implicates ego-depletion in directed-attention failure, but provides few explanations for the effect. I theorize that ego-depletion weakens ones ability to maintain cognitive-arousal

The state of boredom: Frustrating or depressing?

Boredom is a prevalent emotion with potential negative consequences. Previous research has associated boredom with outcomes indicating both high and low levels of arousal and activation. In the

The state of boredom: Frustrating or depressing?

It is proposed that the situational context is an important factor that may determine whether boredom relates to high versus low arousal/activation reactions, and that substantial autonomy should be provided, while monitoring that this does not result in increased depressed affect.

The effectiveness of cognitive strategies for reducing boredom during repetitive task performance

Recent applications of information processing theory suggest that the type of cognitive strategy a person uses to reduce boredom may be effective differentially across tasks of varying difficulty. To

On the Function of Boredom

It is argued that, while bored, attention to the current task is reduced, the experience of boredom is negative and aversive, and that boredom increases autonomic arousal to ready the pursuit of alternatives.

Boredom Begs to Differ: Differentiation From Other Negative Emotions

Boredom is mild in negative valence, low in arousal, is associated with low perceived challenge and low perceived meaningfulness, and has low relevance to moral judgment and behavior.

The Stress of Boredom and Monotony: A Consideration of the Evidence

It is concluded that the available data offer no support for the belief that boredom or monotony per se produces the syndrome of stress, however, monotone coupled with a need to maintain high levels of alertness could represent a combination capable of eliciting considerable stress.



Sympathetic Activity and Perception: An Approach to the Relationships between Autonomic Activity and Personality

An effect of autonomic activity on personality which is, in essence, an inverse feedback concept, is presented which is contrasted to the traditional Eppinger‐Hess concept of the sympathicotonic personality, which actually postulates a positive feedback mechanism.

Hypnotically induced boredom and time estimation

One of the primary obstacles to research on boredom and subjective time experience is seen to be the lack of techniques which permit quick, precise boredom manipulations. The use of posthypnotic cues


In the typical vigilance-situation, S is required to detect and to respond to slight and infrequent changes in stimulation over long periods of time. The usual finding has been that performance

Stress Response in Total and Partial Perceptual Isolation

The results indicate that a social set theory is not sufficient to explain the stressful effects of perceptual restriction and that all types of isolation are equally stressful.

Two independent indices of activation.

  • R. Sternbach
  • Psychology
    Electroencephalography and clinical neurophysiology
  • 1960


  • D. Schubert
  • Psychology
    Journal of projective techniques & personality assessment
  • 1964
The results suggest that a personality trait of arousal seeking could explain some of the MMPI scale score differences as well as the central-nervous-system-stimulant usage.

Narrowed attention; a psychological phenomenon that accompanies a certain physiological change.

A search for details of the relationship between narrowed attention and physiological change is described, which can be demonstrated best by uncovering its details by observing the way people judge sizes.

Sex Differences in Stress Responses to Total and Partial Sensory Deprivation

&NA; The responses of 36 males and 36 females to 3 hr. of total sensory deprivation (SD) or partial SD (light or sound deprivation) were compared. Females scored significantly higher on a measure of

Sleep cycles and skin potential in newborns studies with a simplified observation and recording system.

A simple visual observation system, supplemented by measurement of skin potential, was devised for developmental studies of sleep cycles in settings where multiple electrode placement is not

Counteracting Effects of Physical Exercises Performed during Prolonged Perceptual Deprivation

Subjects who were required to perform physical exercises during a week's exposure to unpatterned light and white noise showed fewer impairments on 15 behavioral measures than did subjects who were