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The effects of boredom due to being over- or underchallenged on students’ occupational choice intentions

The effects of boredom due to being over- or underchallenged on students’ occupational choice intentions

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KRANNICH, Maike, Thomas GÖTZ, Anastasiya A. LIPNEVICH, 2016. The effects of boredom due to being over- or underchallenged on students’ occupational choice intentions. 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Washington, DC, 8. Apr 2016 - 12. Apr 2016. In: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association 2016, Washington, DC. 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Washington, DC, 8. Apr 2016 - 12. Apr 2016

@inproceedings{Krannich2016effec-34435, title={The effects of boredom due to being over- or underchallenged on students’ occupational choice intentions}, year={2016}, booktitle={Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association 2016, Washington, DC}, author={Krannich, Maike and Götz, Thomas and Lipnevich, Anastasiya A.} }

2016-06-16T09:22:28Z 2016-06-16T09:22:28Z Krannich, Maike eng Lipnevich, Anastasiya A. Lipnevich, Anastasiya A. Objectives. Boredom is a commonly experienced emotion in academic settings (e.g., Goetz & Hall, 2014). Yet, very little research has investigated students’ boredom with regard to its antecedents and effects (e.g., Mercer-Lynn, Bar, & Eastwood, 2014; Smith, 1981). The present study addresses this issue by investigating the impact of being over- or underchallenged at school on students’ boredom and by examining the influence of such boredom experiences on occupational choice intentions.<br /><br />Theoretical Framework and Research Questions. Boredom arises through a mismatch between the need for arousal and environmental stimulation (Fahlman, Mercer-Lynn, Flora, & Eastwood, 2013). In a school setting boredom often results from a mismatch between individuals’ ability and perceived challenge. More specifically, studies have shown that students tend to feel underchallenged when perceived control over the situation is high and task demands are below their ability. Similarly, perceived low control due to task demands being above ones abilities may lead to the feeling of being overchallenged (Pekrun et al., 2010). We assumed that both being under- and overchallenged may enhance boredom. Boredom has consistently been shown to have negative effects on students’ outcomes (e.g., Goetz & Hall, 2014). Based on the model of Eccles and colleagues (1983) and by drawing upon existing research we propose that boredom due to being under- and overchallenged should negatively predict occupational choice intentions related to the school subject, in which boredom occurred. We hypothesize that this effect will remain significant even when the direct effect of challenge on occupational choice is controlled.<br /><br />Data and Method. The sample consisted of N = 662 Swiss high-school students (Mage = 17.69) from 35 classes. We used a questionnaire-based trait assessment of subject-specific (mathematics, German, French) boredom, challenge, and occupational choice intentions. Mediated path analyses with Mplus 7.11 (Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2012) were conducted to investigate the main effect of challenge on boredom (“too easy”, “just right”, “too difficult”), the main effect of boredom on occupational choice intentions and the effect of challenge on occupational choice intentions mediated by boredom while taking the clustered data structure (students within classes) into account.<br /><br />Results and Discussion. As predicted, our results showed that for all three subjects a mismatch between perceived challenge and individual abilities lead to boredom. Under- or overchallenged students reported higher levels of boredom compared to students with optimal challenge. These findings are in line with research that deemed non-optimal challenge as an antecedent of boredom (e.g., Csikszentmihalyi, 1975). Furthermore, we demonstrated that both boredom due to being underchallenged and boredom due to being overchallenged negatively predicted students’ occupational choice intentions. The effects of boredom on occupational choice intentions remained significant even after controlling for the direct effect of students’ perceived challenge on occupational choice. The results of our study indicate that boredom at school occurs both due to being under- and overchallenged, and that boredom relates to occupational choice intentions even after the level of perceived challenge is held constant. Theoretical and practical implications will be discussed, along with directions for future inquiry. 2016 Krannich, Maike Götz, Thomas Götz, Thomas The effects of boredom due to being over- or underchallenged on students’ occupational choice intentions

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