The goal of this study was to examine how people respond to relational boredom in the context of growth-enhancing (i.e., novel) and security-restorative (i.e., familiar) shared activities. In Study 1, people’s prescriptive and descriptive beliefs for responding to relational boredom were assessed. Next, we developed a prime of relational boredom (Study 2a) and examined its effects on behavioral intentions for shared activities (Studies 2b and 3) as well as qualities of a planned date (Study 3). In Study 1, people thought they should engage in more growth-enhancing novel activities when bored (but not more security-restorative ones). However, for likely ratings (Study 1) and behavioral intentions (Studies 2b and 3), there were inconsistent findings for the idea that boredom prompts novel shared activities. Instead, in the context of relational boredom, people consistently displayed a pattern of being less likely to engage in security-restorative familiar shared activities.

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Keywords Appetitive–aversive framework, relational boredom, relationship challenges, relationship maintenance, romantic relationships, self-expansion model, shared activities
Persistent URL
Journal Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Harasymchuk, C, Cloutier, A. (Anika), Peetz, J, & Lebreton, J. (Janelle). (2017). Spicing up the relationship? The effects of relational boredom on shared activities. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 34(6), 833–854. doi:10.1177/0265407516660216