Types of boredom and other learning activity emotions: A person-centred investigation of inter-individual data

Dirk Tempelaar*, Alexandra Corina Niculescu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Whether boredom is a unitary construct or if multiple types of boredom exist is a long-standing debate. Recent research has established the existence of boredom types based on frequency observations of boredom by experience sampling. This work tries to expand our understanding of boredom and replicate these previous fndings by applying intensity observations of cross-sectional type for four discrete learning activity emotions: boredom, anxiety, hopelessness, and enjoyment. Latent class analysis based on activity emotion scores from 9863 frst-year students of a business and economics program results in seven profles. Five of these profles allow a linear ordering from low to high control and value scores (the direct antecedents of emotions), low to high positive, and high to low negative emotions. Two profles difer from this pattern: one ‘high boredom’ profle and one ‘low boredom’ profle. We next compare antecedent relationships of activity emotions at three diferent levels: inter-individual, inter-class or between classes, and intra-class or within classes. Some of these relationships are invariant for the choice of level of analysis, such as hopelessness. Other relationships, such as boredom, are highly variant: within-class relationships difer from inter-individual relationships. Indeed, our results confrm that boredom is not a unitary construct. The types of boredom found and their implications for educational practice are discussed and shared in this article.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)84-99
Number of pages16
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number1
Early online date31 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • achievement emotions
  • boredom
  • inter-individual analysis
  • latent class analysis
  • person-centred modelling
  • Inter-individual analysis
  • Latent class analysis
  • Person-centred modelling
  • Achievement emotions
  • Boredom

Cite this