Bored to death?

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK.
International Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 9.18). 04/2010; 39(2):370-1. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyp404
Source: PubMed
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    • "Indeed, it seems that boredom presages delinquent behaviour (Horvath and Zuckerman 1993) and substance abuse (Iso-Ahola and Crowley, 1991). An epidemiological study has even found that individuals with a great deal of boredom are more likely to die during follow-up than those not bored at all (Britton and Shipley 2010). Scitovsky's bi-partition of motivations for comfort and for novelty is consistent with a body of empirical evidence in psychology which shows that extrinsic motivations, which are goal-oriented, cluster around preferences for " financial success, appearance, and social recognition " , whereas intrinsic motivations, which are experience-oriented, cluster around preferences for " self-acceptance, affiliation and community feeling. "
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    ABSTRACT: The recent debate on happiness in economics has revived interest in Scitovsky's 1976 book The Joyless Economy, which aims at explaining the income-happiness paradox, i.e. 'why [American] unprecedented and fast-growing prosperity had left its beneficiaries unsatisfied.' A dynamic economic model will distil Scitovsky's proposal, which has not yet been integrated into conventional economics. It will show that people's dissatisfaction may be due to their excess of demand for `comfort', which requires consumption goods, and to their lack in pursuing `creative activities', which instead essentially require leisure and a skill, called `leisure skill', that people have failed to develop. Since comfort includes comparing consumption with that of others, Scitovsky also strengthened the conventional solution of the paradox.
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