Title

Academic boredom in under- and over-challenging situations

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2010

Abstract

This project explored students’ perceptions of academic boredom in under- and over-challenging situations with the hypothesis that boredom is a multidimensional and situation-dependent construct. In Study 1, college students were asked to think of an under- and over-challenging situation and for each situation complete the 36-item Academic Boredom Scale (ABS-36). Study 2 was a replication of Study 1 but also included Pekrun, Goetz, and Perry’s (2005) Academic Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ). CFA results from both studies suggested one general boredom factor in situations students recalled as being under-challenging but two boredom factors in situations students remembered as being over-challenging. Task-focused boredom was characterized by the tediousness and meaninglessness of a task, whereas self-focused boredom was characterized by feeling dissatisfied and frustrated. A 10-item Academic Boredom Scale (ABS-10) was derived and strong reliability and validity coefficients were obtained. This research helps to provide a clearer picture of different meanings students might have in mind when they say they are bored.