Bored Like Hell: Religiosity Reduces Boredom and Tempers the Quest for Meaning

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Abstract

Boredom involves a lack meaning. Conversely, religiosity offers people a sense of meaning. Accordingly, we proposed that by imbuing a sense of meaningfulnesss, religiosity leads people to experience less boredom. Furthermore, we hypothesized and tested that by reducing boredom, religiosity indirectly inhibits the search for meaningful engagement. In Study 1, following boring tasks, religious people experienced lower levels of boredom and were less motivated to search for meaning than nonreligious people. We found in Study 2 that religious (vs. non- or less religious) people reported higher perceived meaning in life, which was associated with a reduced tendency to feel bored, and with a reduced need to search for meaning in life. Study 3 confirmed that the meaning in life associated with religiosity was associated with reduced state boredom. Religious participants were again less inclined to search for meaning, which was explained by the relatively low levels of boredom that religious (vs. nonreligious) participants experienced.

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