Science Says This is the ‘Most Boring Person in the World’
March 29, 2022 – We apologize to anyone who spends the weekend birdwatching or doing math for fun.
People who work in banking, finance, accounting, data analysis, and cleaning list the most boring people. The study was published earlier this month in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Sleep, religion, watching TV, watching animals, and spending free time doing math were stereotypically the most boring hobbies and activities. Animal watchers include people who care for birds or study ants.
On the other hand, the top five most exciting professions were ordered, performing arts, science, journalism, medical professions, and teaching.
“Are people who are considered boring avoided if possible? Our current research indicates that this is likely,” says Weinand A.P. Van Tilburg, Ph.D., one of the researchers who conducted the study.
In addition to specific traits and stereotypes, Van Tilburg and his colleagues found that boring people lack skills and warmth.
“To our surprise, they were seen as both unfriendly and incompetent,” says Van Tilburg, an experimental social psychologist at the University of Essex in the UK.
What qualities do people most often attribute to boring people? In addition to “boring,” “dry,” “tasteless,” and “uninteresting,” common stereotypes include the notion that someone is probably dull, has no sense of humor, has no opinion, or complains.
The people surveyed were more likely to place boring people in cities and small towns than in major metropolitan areas.
What are the possible harms of relying on boring stereotypes? If people are considered boring solely because of their profession and hobbies, “then it suggests that they will suffer the negative consequences of a stereotypically boring person, even if others do not interact with them,” Van Tilburg says.
Perhaps my accountant is the party’s life in other contexts.”
Dollars to avoid boredom?
“Perhaps the best way to find out if other people are boring is to talk about interesting things and see how they react,” Leary says. “But be careful: topics that you think are suitable for interesting conversations may be boring for others.”