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Boring people: stereotype characteristics, interpersonal attributions, and social reactions

van Tilburg, Wijnand A.P., Igou, Eric R. and Panjwani, Mehr (2022) Boring people: stereotype characteristics, interpersonal attributions, and social reactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. ISSN 0146-1672

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Identification Number: 10.1177/01461672221079104


Unfortunately, some people are perceived as boring. Despite the potential relevance that these perceptions might have in everyday life, the underlying psychological processes and consequences of perceiving a person as “boring” have been largely unexplored. We examined the stereotypical features of boring others by having people generate (Study 1) and then rate (Study 2) these. We focused on occupations (e.g., data analytics, taxation, and accounting), hobbies (e.g., sleeping, religion, and watching TV), and personal characteristics (e.g., lacking humor and opinions, being negative) that people ascribed to stereotypically boring others. Experiments then showed that those who were ascribed boring characteristics were seen as lacking interpersonal warmth and competence (Study 3), were socially avoided (Study 4), and enduring their company required compensation (Study 5). These results suggest that being stereotyped as a bore may come with substantially negative interpersonal consequences.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 17:15
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2022 09:06

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