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Percept Mot Skills. 2001 Jun;92(3 Pt 2):969-76.

Watching the clock: boredom and vigilance performance.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of West Florida, Pensacola 32514, USA.


The current study investigated the relationship between a measure of trait boredom, Boredom Proneness, and vigilance performance on a variation of Mackworth's original clock test. Performance, assessed as Sensory Efficiency, was negatively correlated with Boredom Proneness scores early in the vigil but not during later trials. The results suggested that the trait of Boredom Proneness is predictive of performance on monotonous tasks within the first 10-min. block of trials; however, no differences in performance occurred on subsequent blocks, suggesting that as state boredom increases, differences between individuals diminish, e.g., a ceiling effect. The authors discuss the importance of examining Boredom Proneness as a multidimensional construct. Practical implications for these results are presented, particularly in terms of using Sensory Efficiency as a measure of performance during vigilance tasks.

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