Are You Boring? New Science Study Can Tell!

By Carlos Manuel Eusoya

PHOTO: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Do you love mathematics? Are you fond of sleeping or watching TV all day? Do you prefer “going with the flow” rather than expressing your own opinion? Be warned: you may be stereotyped as a “boring” person!

A scientific study led by University of Essex psychology researcher Wijnand Van Tilburg identified the traits, occupations, and hobbies that are associated with a boring person. After a series of five experiments and a survey of 500 people, the researchers created a comprehensive ranking of the characteristics of stereotypical boring individuals. Accountancy, mathematics, cleaning, watching TV, religion, and animal observation earned the list’s top spots.


Social psychology

Scientifically speaking, there are two domains in the realm of social psychology. The first domain is interpersonal warmth or the general attitude of people (e.g., kindness, sincerity, honesty), while the second is the competence of a person (e.g. skill and intelligence). People who rank low on the first domain are moderately boring, while those who fall short on both domains are considered the most boring stereotypes.


Top of the list

The study by Tilburg identified boring characteristics in various criteria. The first is the attitude of a person. People who lack a sense of humor, interests, personal opinions, or optimistic personalities were perceived to be the dullest. In terms of jobs and professions, accountants, financers, and clerks were among the top “boring” occupations.

Sleeping, religion, watching television, and mathematics were the most boring activities, while gaming and reading were perceived to be generally fun. Lastly, individuals who live in small towns are considered boring, as compared to urban citizens who reside in villages and large cities.
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