Dutch researcher wins Ig Nobel Award for international study into bored students
Dutch researcher Wijnand van Tilburg has won an Ig Nobel award for his part in an international study into the boredom of teachers and students. The study “Boredom Begets Boredom” concluded that students or teachers expecting a lecture or class to be boring can actually make it even more boring for them.
The study was conducted by Van Tilburg and researchers from China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, and the United States. They studied undergraduate students’ expectations of boredom and experienced boredom in three studies. The results indicated that “the mere expectation that a lecture will be boring may be sufficient to exacerbate its subsequent occurrence.”
The Ig Nobel awards are awarded every year to scientific studies that make you laugh but also make you think. These involve real, scientific research into topics that may seem silly but have an actual impact on society. The boredom study won in the Education category.
Other winners this year include a study into how many passersby on a street stop to look up when they see strangers looking up (psychology), the sensations people feel when they repeat a word many times (literature), and how electrified chopsticks can change the taste of food (nutrition). The Mechanical Engineering prize went to international researchers who reanimated dead spiders to use as mechanical gripping tools.