How you can stop being bored with the same old thing

January 9th, 2008 - 1:18 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Jan 9 (ANI): Satiation can cause our favourite things to lose their worth because their repetition can make them monotonous. But now, a new study has suggested that paying attention to the details might help us avoid boredom from the same old thing.

The study, led by Joseph P. Redden of University of Minnesota, made participants eat 22 fruit-flavoured jelly beans (cherry, orange, strawberry, peach, tangerine) while rating their enjoyment, to reach their conclusion.

At the end, volunteers were asked to indicate how well they could distinguish the flavours, how much they noticed the different flavours, how repetitive the eating task felt, how similar the jelly beans seemed to each other, and how much variety they perceived.

People given specific flavour labels (e.g., cherry) became less satiated and kept enjoying the jellybeans longer than people given the general label of jellybean, Redden said.

In other words, though everyone ate the same variety of jellybeans, people who were just given jellybeans to eat as opposed to tangerine jellybeans and strawberry jellybeans gave lower assessments as the experiment wore on, though both groups rated the jellybeans about equally toward the beginning of the experiment.

Many people see satiation as an unavoidable, physiological consequence of consumption. This research shows that satiation, or the decline in enjoyment, depends on how much repetition people perceive. The current findings have several implications for consumers. Notably, consumers can enjoy themselves more by focusing on the details during their experiences, Redden said.

The implications of the study also helps in the understandings of expertise, or how people who devote themselves to a particular field can maintain interest over many years.

However, Redden cautions that countering satiation may also potentially have a negative effect by reducing one deterrent to mindless over-consumption.

Subcategorization reduced satiation for experiences that were more cognitive (e.g., studying) as well as more sensory (e.g., eating snacks), Redden said.

Consumers should find subcategorization especially useful when facing limited options, developing expertise, or following a repetitive regimen. Regardless of how they use the findings, the current research establishes that subcategorization offers people the potential to make their lives more enjoyable, he added. (ANI)

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