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EMAC 2023 Annual

Bored Out of Your (Human) Mind: Boredom Makes Us Feel Less Human and Donate Less To Charity

Published: May 24, 2023


Roland Schroll, University of Innsbruck; Lauren Grewal, Dartmouth College; Dhruv Grewal, Babson College


The current research bridges research on boredom and dehumanization to suggest that feeling bored leads to a less human perception of the self. We further investigate downstream consequences of a less human perception of the self. Challenging the results of prior research, we argue and show that a less human perception of the self causes consumers to feel less empathetic towards others, ultimately reducing donations to charity. We provide evidence for these predictions across three studies. Doing so, this research critically enhances our understanding of not only what makes us feel more or less human but also to what extent and when feeling human affects marketing-relevant behaviors. This research has implications for the effectiveness of public policy initiatives and for organizations that encourage prosocial behavior.