DOI: 10.1111/spc3.12871 ISSN:

A little help from my friends: Lack of social interaction predicts greater boredom during the COVID‐19 pandemic

Yijun Lin, S. Elisha LePine, Ashley N. Krause, Erin C. Westgate
  • Social Psychology


Were people bored during the pandemic, and if so why? One possibility is lack of social interaction due to restrictions on social activity intended to slow the spread of communicable disease. In a 3‐week daily diary study (n = 438; international community sample) social interaction predicted boredom and its consequences. People felt more bored on days when they engaged in less social interaction than usual (in‐person or virtually), largely driven by a lack of meaning. In turn, boredom predicted lower well‐being concurrently, and more virtual interaction the next day; people dispositionally higher in trait boredom also reported more solitary (but not partnered) sexual activity. In conclusion, this study suggests that maintaining social connections, even during a pandemic, may be important to mitigate boredom and improve overall well‐being.

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