Boredom is good for you 百無聊賴能夠提高創造力

更新時間 2013年 6月 24日, 星期一 - 格林尼治標準時間12:16
A child in a garden

Dr Teresa Belton says that children should be encouraged to observe the world around them.

Vocabulary: state of mind 詞匯心境

Were you constantly bored as a child? Maybe that helped you to develop your innate ability to be creative.

Boredom can be a good thing for children, according to Dr Teresa Belton, researcher at the University of East Anglia's School of Education and Lifelong Learning. After interviewing authors, artists and scientists in Britain, she's reached the conclusion that cultural expectations that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination.

British comedienne and writer Meera Syal grew up in a small mining village with few distractions. The researcher said: "Lack of things to do spurred her to talk to people she wouldn't otherwise have engaged with and try activities she wouldn't, under other circumstances, have experienced, such as talking to elderly neighbours and learning to bake cakes."

Belton added: "Boredom made her write. Meera Syal kept a diary from a young age, filling it with observations, short stories, poems, and diatribe."

The academic didn't ignore the old saying the devil finds work for idle hands, though. Belton pointed out that young people who don't have the interior resources to deal with boredom creatively may end up smashing up bus shelters or taking cars out for a joyride.

How about watching TV and videos on the computer? The academic believes that nothing replaces standing and staring at things and observing your surroundings.

It's the sort of thing that stimulates the imagination, she said, while the screen "tends to short circuit that process and the development of creative capacity".

Dr Belton concluded: "For the sake of creativity, perhaps we need to slow down and stay offline from time to time."

Quiz 測驗

1. What didn't Meera Syal's village have much of?


2. What did the writer keep from a young age?

A diary.

3. Is this statement true or false? According to Dr Belton, watching TV stimulates the imagination.

False. The academic says that it interrupts the development of creativity that only standing and staring at the surroundings can encourage.

4. What is Dr Belton's advice for youngsters who like computers?

Stay offline from time to time.

5. Which word in the article means something you are born with?


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