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While such research is done in a number of countries, Canada seems to be a hotbed of boredom studies. James Danckert, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Waterloo, in Canada, recently conducted a study to compare the physiological effects of boredom and sadness.

To induce sadness in the lab, he used video clips from the 1979 tear-jerker, “The Champ,” a widely accepted practice among psychologists.

But finding a clip to induce boredom was a trickier task. Dr. Danckert first tried a YouTube video of a man mowing a lawn, but subjects found it funny, not boring. A clip of parliamentary proceedings was too risky. “There’s always the off chance you get someone who is interested in that,” he says.

I found the third paragraph particularly amusing as someone who often finds watching parliament interesting. I guess I’d be one of the ‘problem’ participants!