New research shows link between politics, boredom and breaking public-health rules

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People who are more prone to boredom and who are socially conservative are more likely to break public-health rules, according to new psychology research.

While previous research demonstrated a connection between being highly prone to boredom and breaking social-distancing rules, this study demonstrated the association was more prominent as participants’ social conservatism increased.

“Many public-health measures such as wearing a mask or getting a vaccine have become highly politicized,” said James Danckert, professor of psychology at the University of Waterloo. “People who find these measures a threat to their identity, and who suffer from boredom a lot, find breaking the rules helps them re-establish a sense of meaning and identity. Boredom threatens our need to make meaning out of life and some things such as politics can strengthen our sense of identity and meaning.”

For the study, researchers asked more than 900 people to respond to…

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