November 12 2014
Student aims to produce exciting research on boredom
There is never a dull moment for a university student aiming to produce a world-first in boring research.
Deon Ashley Aston is exploring why people become bored, what different types of boredom there are and how it can impact on different situations.
A third-year BSc Psychology student at Glyndŵr University in Wrexham, the 27-year-old from Flintshire wants to deliver the first piece of research on the subject from a non-theoretical perspective.
A part time dental nurse, Deon is looking at different scales of boredom, how attitudes and perception of this state of mind have changed over time and why we respond to varying levels of interest and stimulation.
She wants to know what makes us bored and why all deal with it in different ways.
“When I was looking at different topics for my dissertation earlier this year, I thought about attitudes and feelings that each and every one of us experience,” said Deon.
“That’s when I decided to do my research on boredom. We all get bored now and again and we all find different things boring. I’m just hoping the research I come up with is more exciting than the subject!”
Originally from Bromborough, Deon is particularly interested in categorising the different types of boredom and producing a scale that reflects whether it is a way of thinking, an attitude or even a medical issue that can be treated.
“People get bored in many ways,” she said.
“They can be lethargic, agitated, angry, unhappy, or depressed. That said, other people like to be relaxed and rested and see boredom as a positive, something they embrace because it means they have time to think and space to breathe.”
Deon added: “I have started to collect data from different respondents but would really like to get a widespread picture of how people of different ages and backgrounds feel about boredom.
“If our minds are not stimulated is it natural that we should feel bored? Are we more bored than we used to be or less bored because we now have so many mediums to keep us occupied?
“If you’re a teacher or a business owner, does boredom affect your productivity, or that of your workforce or the pupils in the classroom? These are all questions I’m hoping to have answered.”
Psychology lecturer Dr Emyr Williams – whose own research into vampires received global recognition earlier this year – says the topic is one that should capture the public’s imagination.
“Others have done theoretical research into this, but there are still no true definitions of what boredom is,” said Dr Williams.
“Deon is keen to engage with organisations, as well as individuals, as her findings will look at how people engage, how they are distracted and whether productivity is affected by boredom.”
He added: “There has been more than 100 years of research into boredom but with the onset of modern technology we think the findings will be very different.
“The psychology department at Glyndŵr University values students doing their own innovative and new research so they go on to produce further studies and academic publications that will boost their chances of employability when they leave.”
To take the survey, visit: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/boredom