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On boredom and perceptions of heroes: a meaning-regulation approach to heroism
Coughlan, Gillian; Igou, Eric Raymond; van Tilburg, Wijnand A.P.; Kinsella, Elaine Louise; Ritchie, Timothy D.
We propose that boredom, a state associated with a sense of meaninglessness, leads to a psychological search for meaning in life, which in turn elevates affirmation of heroes. This hypothesis builds on the notion that heroes function, in part, as sources of meaning in life. Using a correlational model, we found that boredom proneness predicted more positive perceptions of heroes via searches for meaning in one’s own life. In addition, hero perceptions seemed to prevent boredom by offering a sense of meaning in life. These findings contribute to an understanding of the psychologically existential qualities of boredom and functions of heroes. The results are consistent with the assumption that boredom triggers the existential process of searching for meaning in life. It is this search that influences perceptions of heroes as vehicles for a sense of meaning in life. Our data suggest that heroes grant a sense of meaningfulness, and in so doing, may serve as a tool to counteract the lack of meaning signaled by boredom. These findings implicate novel avenues for future research on boredom and on heroes, and more precisely, they shed light on perception and affirmations of heroes as part of existential self-regulatory processes.
Keyword(s): boredom; heroes; meaning; existential psychology; person perception
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Citation(s): Journal of Humanistic Psychology;pp. 1-19
Publisher(s): Sage Publications
First Indexed: 2017-09-14 06:38:58 Last Updated: 2018-04-18 06:25:26