Published November 20, 2013
Have you ever quietly watched the clock tick? Or restlessly sat through a dud movie and played on your iPhone instead?
How about getting stuck chatting to the wrong person at a party and silently begging someone to steal you away? Or ditching an afternoon meeting to go to the pub instead?
It's called boredom, and we've all been there.
But feeling bored just became a little more nuanced, after researchers across two continents identified a fifth type of tedium to join the four kinds of boredom they'd previously pinpointed.
Researcher Dr Thomas Goetz says the types of boredom are differentiated by your level of mental arousal (from calm to fidgety) and by how you feel about your state of boredom (positive or negative).
Check out the five types of boredom to discover which you're feeling:
Indifferent boredom: Your boredom is relaxed and withdrawn.
Calibrating boredom: People with this kind of boredom feel uncertain and are highly receptive to change or distraction.
Searching boredom: You are restless and actively looking for something to distract you.
Reactant boredom: You're bored, but highly motivated to leave the situation for a specific alternative.
Apathetic boredom: The most recently discovered type. This is an especially unpleasant kind of boredom that resembles learned helplessness or depression. It is associated with low levels of arousal and high levels of aversion.