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Preventing boredom with gratitude: the key role of meaning in life

journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-02, 14:56 authored by Muireann O'DeaMuireann O'Dea, Eric Raymond IgouEric Raymond Igou, Wijnand A. P. van Tilburg

Boredom signals a lack of meaning. Gratitude promotes feelings of meaning in life. We proposed accordingly that gratitude, by engendering meaning, shields against boredom. Specifically, we hypothesized that gratitude prevents boredom by increasing perceptions of meaning in life. We tested this hypothesis in five studies (N = 954). Study 1 revealed that grateful people are less prone to boredom. Studies 2a and 2b demonstrated that grateful people are less prone to boredom, and this relationship is statistically mediated by elevated meaning in life. Study 3 found that dispositional gratitude also predicted less state boredom in response to a behavioural task, via heightened perceptions of meaning in life. In Study 4, experimentally induced gratitude reduced boredom through increased perceptions of meaning in life. The findings demonstrate gratitude’s role in effectively reducing and preventing boredom by boosting the feeling that life is meaningful.

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Publication

Motivation and Emotion, 2024, 48, pp.111–125

Publisher

Springer

Sustainable development goals

  • (3) Good Health and Well-being

Department or School

  • Psychology

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