Understanding boredom proneness: Cognitive and affective correlates in healthy and traumatic brain injured individuals
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Boredom proneness has been associated with a raft of negative cognitive, affective, and behavioural consequences. Research has sought to better understand boredom proneness from both cognitive and affective perspectives; however, an explanation of its underlying processes is still lacking. First, this thesis explored cognitive and affective factors related to boredom to assess the degree to which levels of self-control could explain these relationships. Next, boredom proneness and self-control were assessed in individuals who had sustained varying degrees of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to explore whether a link exists between boredom proneness, self-control, and head injury severity. Finally, the neural underpinnings of state boredom were explored in healthy controls and a small sample of TBI patients, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Study 1 showed that boredom proneness was associated with spontaneous mind-wandering, increased depression and hostility, with individual levels of self-control driving these relationships. Study 2 showed that boredom proneness increases as a function of head injury severity. Finally, Study 3 showed recruitment of large-scale default mode network regions (DMN) associated with boredom, with concurrent downregulation of the anterior insula, an area important for switching between default and executive networks. In the TBI patients, results were heterogeneous, with individual patients displaying opposing patterns of activation within and between conditions. Collectively, these results offer insights into the mechanisms of boredom proneness and self-control. Results are discussed in terms of a current definition of boredom which suggests the state represents disengagement from one’s environment despite a motivation to engage – an experience that is negatively valenced, and likely represents failures of cognitive and affective self-regulation.
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Julia Isacescu (2017). Understanding boredom proneness: Cognitive and affective correlates in healthy and traumatic brain injured individuals. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11499