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Boredom proneness and attentional difficulties are connected in age-related hearing loss and throughout adulthood.

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Title: Boredom proneness and attentional difficulties are connected in age-related hearing loss and throughout adulthood.
Author: Crawford, Carolyn
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Fenske, Mark
Abstract: The tendency to experience the aversive state of boredom is linked with the ability to engage in satisfying tasks. Here we focus on two individual-difference factors that may impact task engagement: perceptual impairment and capacity for maintaining task-focused attention. Through a partnership with Connect Hearing-Canada, we recruited a large sample (n =1840) of older adults. Audiometric thresholds provided an objective measure of perceptual impairment for each participant, while self-report questionnaires assessed individual differences in the subjective impact of hearing difficulties, boredom proneness, and the tendency to mindwander. Our results show that the subjective impact of hearing loss is more intensely negative for those who are prone to boredom, and that this relationship is mediated by self-reported differences in the ability to maintain task-focused attention. We administered a similar questionnaire to a group of undergraduate students (n = 332) and found that young adults demonstrate greater levels of boredom proneness and spontaneous mindwandering relative to older adults, but that the link between the two constructs is similar in strength.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/26431
Date: 2020-08
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