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Boredom and Repetitive Work: A Review

V.J. Shackleton (Department of Applied Psychology, University of Aston, Birmingham)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 April 1981



Many people make the assumption that a repetitive job is automatically a boring one. This is not so. For many years, psychologists and other students of work behaviour have been pointing out that boredom is a subjective experience and refers to the individual's reaction to the environmental situation, whereas repetition or monotony is a characteristic of a task as perceived by an individual. Simply put, some repetitive or monotonous tasks are experienced as boring by some people. The aim of this article is to explore the sorts of repetitive tasks which lead to feelings of boredom, the effects of repetitive tasks on boredom and performance, and the methods that both workers and employers can use to reduce these effects.


Shackleton, V.J. (1981), "Boredom and Repetitive Work: A Review", Personnel Review, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 30-36.




Copyright © 1981, MCB UP Limited

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