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Existential Escape of the Bored: A Review of Meaning-Regulation Processes Under Boredom

Moynihan, Andrew and Igou, Eric and Van Tilburg, Wijnand (2021) 'Existential Escape of the Bored: A Review of Meaning-Regulation Processes Under Boredom.' European Review of Social Psychology, 32 (1). pp. 161-200. ISSN 1046-3283

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Boredom is a common, unpleasant emotion that conveys meaninglessness in life and compels people to escape from this adverse existential experience. Within the paradigm of existential social psychology frameworks, previous research found that bored people endorse cultural sources of meaning as compensation against this state (i.e., nostalgia, political ideologies). In recent years, another form of defence against meaning threats has been identified. An existential escape hypothesis relating to boredom claims that people seek to avoid meaninglessness when people encounter meaning threats such as boredom. By engaging in behaviours with low self-awareness, people counteract awareness of their bored and meaningless self. In this article, we review the current literature on boredom in light of such acts of existential escape. We also provide suggestions for future research to highlight under which circumstances people are more likely to engage in existential escape and identify phenomena that need to be tested within the escape process.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: boredom; existential escape; meaning; self-regulation; existential psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2020 16:58
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 14:34

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