Until now, only four types of boredom were known. But this could change soon.
A group of scientists claim to have identified a new form of boredom which is an 'especially unpleasant' form of tedium, according to a report by the Independent.
The “apathetic boredom” elicits a feeling of learned helplessness similar to depression.
According to the scientists, led by Dr Thomas Goetz of the University of Konstanz in Germany, boredom can be categorised by levels of arousal (ranging from “calm” to “fidgety”), and how positive or negative boredom is experienced – its “valence”, according to the report.
The four types of boredom previously known were: “indifferent boredom”, in which people felt withdrawn but relaxed; “calibrating boredom”, a feeling of uncertainty in which people are receptive to but do not seek out change; “searching boredom”, which is restless and pursues distraction; and “reactant boredom”, wherein people are motivated to leave their situation for a specific change.
Goetz, his colleague Anne Frenzel, and a team of fellow researchers conducted two studies among 63 German university students and 80 German high school learners. Participants would fill in questionnaires through the course of a day on a PDA, discussing their activities and experiences.
Researchers found apathetic boredom in slightly more than a third of the high school students - a fact they said was "alarming".
The study also suggested that people might be disposed to feeling one particular type of boredom.
"We speculate that experiencing specific boredom types might, to some degree, be due to personality-specific dispositions," Dr Goetz was quoted as saying by the Independent.