Does Being Bored Make Us More Creative?

Mann, Sandi orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5005-1055 and Cadman, Rebekah (2014) Does Being Bored Make Us More Creative? Creativity Research Journal, 26 (2). pp. 165-173. ISSN 1040-0419

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


Boredom has traditionally been associated with a range of negative outcomes, both within the workplace and outside it. More recently, however, it has been suggested that boredom can have positive outcomes, one of which might be increased creativity. This study addressed this proposition by examining the relationship between boredom and creative potential on a range of tasks. Two studies were carried out; the first involved 80 participants taking part in either a boring writing activity or not (control group) followed by a creative task. The second study involved a further 90 participants who varied in the type of boring activity they undertook (either a boring written activity, a boring reading activity or control) and the type of creative task that followed. Results suggested that boring activities resulted in increased creativity and that boring reading activities lead to more creativity in some circumstances (such as convergent tasks) than boring written activities. The role of daydreaming as a mediator between boredom and creativity is discussed and implications are outlined

Repository Staff Only: item control page