[Los Angeles Times]

Boredom is a lot more interesting than scientists had thought.

A new study of students in Germany reveals that there are five distinct types of boredom. That’s one more than researchers had expected.

What’s more, the newly discovered category — which they labeled “apathetic boredom” — was quite common among high school students, according to the study, published this week in the journal Motivation and Emotion.

Boredom isn’t just boring. It can be dangerous, either for the person who is bored or for the people around him. For instance, people who are bored are more likely to smoke, drink or use drugs. Kids who are bored are more likely to drop out of school and become juvenile delinquents. Studies have also linked boredom with stress and other health problems.

“Given the high frequency of boredom in various situations encountered in daily life and the variety of detrimental experiences to which boredom is related, it is rather surprising that to date there has been little research conducted on this specific emotion,” the researchers wrote in their study.

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