Boredom in Academic Contexts

Project Team

Prof. S.Rothmann, Prof. K. Lonka, Dr A. Dhir (Postdoctoral research fellow), Dr Angelique van Rensburg (Postdoctoral research fellow), Christiaan Bekker (PhD student), Francis Erasmus (Master's student), Tholakile Shongwe (Honours assistant), Themba Bucibo (Honours assistant)


This study investigates the conceptualization, definition and operational boundaries, causes and antecedents of academic boredom, a negative academic emotion. To enhance the limited existing knowledge, the complex relationships among academic boredom, technology addiction and decrement in academic performance will be modelled using longitudinal and cross-cultural data. The developmental stage theories, control-value theory and measurement theory will be integrated. The study will focus on four specific areas: a) investigating the psychometric properties and measurement invariance of a measure of academic boredom; b) investigating the relationship between academic boredom, technology addiction (Internet, Social networking sites, Instant messaging) and decrement in academic performance; c) examining the relationship between academic boredom, online risky behaviour and information and communication technology (ICT) parenting, and d) determining the demographic (age, gender) and cultural differences in the tendency to experience academic boredom. A two-year long (three-wave) collection of longitudinal data from six international sites will cover the major developmental transition among adolescents with respect to academic boredom. The understanding yielded from this research will help in the diagnosis and later prevention of academic boredom, and also in the development of newer learning environments, which can facilitate adolescent learning. The South African team aims to broaden the study on boredom to students in higher education institutions and employees in private and public organisations.