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Evaluating the relationship between boredom and academic outcomes: A meta-analysis

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JournalEducational psychology review
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Feb 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2015
DatePublished (current) - 2016
Issue number1
Volume28
Pages (from-to)119-144
Early online date17/03/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The experience of academic boredom among students may be universal; in fact, almost all students complain at least occasionally about being bored in class or while studying. Despite the perceived negative influence of boredom on learning, there has been no synthesis of empirical findings underscoring how boredom relates to academic outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to meta-analyze the research exploring the relationship between students’ academic boredom and their motivation, study strategies and behaviors, and performance. A total of 29 studies, involving 19,052 students, met the inclusion criteria. The overall effect size, ¯r = −.24, was significant, p < .001. In subgroup analyses, the negative effect sizes were found to differ between secondary and post-secondary students, and boredom experienced in class had greater negative impact on students’ academic outcomes than boredom experienced while studying. In addition, a significant differential impact of boredom on academic motivation, study strategies and behaviors, and achievement was found. These findings suggest that education professionals should identify strategies to alleviate students’ boredom in academic settings.

    Research areas

  • Meta-analysis, Academic boredom, Learning and achievement

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