No. 1 (2023)

Self-focused but lacking self-knowledge: The relation between boredom and self-perception

Veerpal Bambrah
York University

Published 2023-02-12


  • boredom,
  • self-perception,
  • self-directed attention,
  • self-knowledge

How to Cite

Bambrah, V., Moynihan, A. B., & Eastwood, J. D. (2023). Self-focused but lacking self-knowledge: The relation between boredom and self-perception . Journal of Boredom Studies, (1). Retrieved from


Existing research suggests that people prone to boredom may have high self-directed attention (i.e., the tendency to focus on one’s inner experiences) but low self-knowledge (i.e., the tendency to possess knowledge of one’s inner experiences), which are two distinct aspects of self-perception. We empirically tested this proposal across multiple studies by examining the relationships between indices of boredom, self-directed attention, and self-knowledge. In Studies 1 and 2, we created a measure of state self-directed attention that possesses good psychometric properties, reliability, and convergent and construct validity. Additionally, we tested and confirmed the hypothesis that experimentally manipulating self-directed attention has no significant impact on boredom (Study 1), but that experimentally manipulating boredom causes a significant increase in self-directed attention (Study 2). In Study 3, we tested and confirmed the hypothesis that trait self-directed attention, trait self-knowledge, and trait boredom are correlated, but psychometrically distinct, dispositional constructs. We also tested and confirmed the hypothesis that trait self-directed attention and trait self-knowledge are uniquely associated with trait boredom (Study 3). Implications and future directions related to furthering our understanding of boredom and aspects of self-perception are discussed.


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