Pandemic boredom: little evidence that lockdown-related boredom affects risky public health behaviors across 116 countries

Westgate, Erin C. and Buttrick, Nicholas R. and Lin, Yijun and El Helou, Gaelle and Agostini, Maximilian and Bélanger, Jocelyn J. and G€utzkow, Ben and Kreienkamp, Jannis and Abakoumkin, Georgios and Khaiyom, Jamilah Hanum Abdul and Ahmedi, Vjollca and Akkas, Handan and Almenara, Carlos A. and Atta, Mohsin and Bağcı, Çiğdem and Basel, Sima and Kida, Edona Berisha and Bernardo, Allan B.I. and Chobthamkit, Phatthanakit and Choi, Hoon Seok and Cristea, Mioara and Csaba, Sára and Damnjanovic, Kaja and Danyliuk, Ivan and Dash, Arobindu and Di Santo, Daniela and Douglas, Karen M. and Enea, Violeta and Faller, Daiane Gracieli and Fitzsimons, Gavan and Gheorghiu, Alexandra and Gómez, Ángel and Hamaidia, Ali and Han, Qing and Helmy, Mai and Hudiyana, Joevarian and Jeronimus, Bertus F. and Jiang, Ding Yu and Jovanović, Veljko and Kamenov, Željka and Kende, Anna and Keng, Shian Ling and Kieu, Tra Thi Thanh and Koc, Yasin and Kovyazina, Kamila and Kozytska, Inna and Krause, Joshua and Kruglanski, Arie W. and Kurapov, Anton and Kutlaca, Maja and Lantos, Nóra Anna and Lemay, Edward P. and Lesmana, Cokorda Bagus Jaya and Louis, Winnifred R. and Lueders, Adrian and Maj, Marta and Malik, Najma Iqbal and Martinez, Anton and McCabe, Kira O. and Mehulić, Jasmina and Milla, Mirra Noor and Mohammed, Idris and Molinario, Erica and Moyano, Manuel and Muhammad, Hayat and Mula, Silvana and Muluk, Hamdi and Myroniuk, Solomiia and Najafi, Reza and Nisa, Claudia F. and Nyúl, Boglárka and O’Keefe, Paul A. and Osuna, Jose Javier Olivas and Osin, Evgeny N. and Park, Joonha and Pica, Gennaro and Pierro, Antonio and Rees, Jonas and Reitsema, Anne Margit and Resta, Elena and Rullo, Marika and Ryan, Michelle K. and Samekin, Adil and Santtila, Pekka and Sasin, Edyta and Schumpe, Birga M. and Selim, Heyla A. and Stanton, Michael Vicente and Stroebe, Wolfgang and Sutton, Robbie M. and Tseliou, Eleftheria and Utsugi, Akira and van Breen, Jolien Anne and Lissa, Caspar J.Van and Veen, Kees Van and van Dellen, Michelle R. and Vázquez, Alexandra and Wollast, Robin and Yeung, Victoria Wai lan and Zand, Somayeh and Žežzelj, Iris Lav and Zheng, Bang and Zick, Andreas and Zúñiga, Claudia and Leander, N. Pontus (2023) Pandemic boredom: little evidence that lockdown-related boredom affects risky public health behaviors across 116 countries. Emotion . ISSN 1528-3542 (Print) 1931-1516 (Online) Published Online First

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Some public officials have expressed concern that policies mandating collective public health behaviors (e.g., national/regional “lockdown”) may result in behavioral fatigue that ultimately renders such policies ineffective. Boredom, specifically, has been singled out as one potential risk factor for noncompliance. We examined whether there was empirical evidence to support this concern during the COVID-19 pandemic in a large cross-national sample of 63,336 community respondents from 116 countries. Although boredom was higher in countries with more COVID-19 cases and in countries that instituted more stringent lockdowns, such boredom did not predict longitudinal within-person decreases in social distancing behavior (or vice versa; n = 8,031) in early spring and summer of 2020. Overall, we found little evidence that changes in boredom predict individual public health behaviors (handwashing, staying home, self-quarantining, and avoiding crowds) over time, or that such behaviors had any reliable longitudinal effects on boredom itself. In summary, contrary to concerns, we found little evidence that boredom posed a public health risk during lockdown and quarantine
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19; Emotion; Public Health; Self-Regulation; Simpson’S Paradox
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Academic programs > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Çiğdem Bağcı
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2023 11:27
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 11:27

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