The Effect of “Novelty Input” and “Novelty Output” on Boredom During Home Quarantine in the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Moderating Effects of Trait Creativity

Frontiers in Psychology 11 (2020)
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Abstract

Governments have adopted strict home quarantine measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. A monotonous, barren, and under-stimulating environment can cause state boredom, and people often deal with boredom via novelty-seeking behavior. Novelty-seeking behavior can be divided into “novelty input” and “novelty output.” The former refers to obtaining novel information such as browsing the Web; the latter refers to engaging in creative behavior such as literary creation. This study explores the relationship between two types of novelty-seeking behavior and individual state boredom during home quarantine, along with the moderation effect of trait creativity. The study sample consists of 582 Chinese college students who were quarantined at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants completed the Multidimensional State Boredom Scale, the Williams Creativity Aptitude Test, and self-compiled questionnaires of novelty input and novelty output. The results show that there is no significant relationship between novelty input or novelty output and boredom during the COVID-19 quarantine. Trait creativity is found to negatively moderate the relationship between the two means of novelty seeking and boredom. Specifically, novelty output negatively predicts the state boredom of individuals with high creativity, while novelty input positively predicts the state boredom of individuals with low creativity. Our findings suggest that different novelty-seeking behaviors may have different effects on the boredom level of individuals with high versus low creativity during quarantine. During a quarantine period, individuals should avoid excessively engaging in novelty input behaviors aimed at escaping boring situations.

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Chen Shi
Tianjin University

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