Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

sociated with susceptibility to monotony. Four hypotheses were not supported in this study: that the susceptible worker is more ambitious, tends not to daydream, is extraverted, and is more intelligent. Three remained tenable: that the susceptible worker is likely to be young, restless in his daily habits and leisure-time activities, and less satisfied with personal, home, and plant situations in aspects not directly concerned with uniformity or repetitiveness.

On the basis of this and confirming evidence, an eighth hypothesis was considered tenable: that feelings of monotony are not merely a function of the task performed, but are related to more general factors in the individual worker. It was suggested that satisfaction with repetitive work does not necessarily reflect insensitivity and stupidity, as the more romantic textbooks seem to imply.


51. The Curve of Output as a Criterion of Boredom*

Patricia Cain Smith

THE PURPOSE OF this study was to investigate the relationship between the experience of boredom and changes in rate of output or shape of production curves for industrial workers. The classic investigations of the British Industrial Fatigue Research Board1 have satisfied the writers of our textbooks that the experience of monotony or boredom is characteristically accompanied by changes in the rate of output, and even that the nature of the worker's experience may be identified by examination of the shape of the curve of output. A re-examination of the work of the British investigators was made necessary by certain deviations from normally acceptable methods of scientific investigation, which will be discussed later in this paper.

____________________
*
From Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 37, No. 2, 1953, pp. 69-74.

The writer is deeply indebted to Dr. T. A. Ryan for his guidance.

1
H. M. Vernon, S. Wyatt, and A. D. Ogden, "On the Extent and Effects of Variety in Repetitive Work" ( London: Industrial Fatigue Research Board, Report No. 26, 1924); S. Wyatt and J. A. Fraser, "Studies in Repetitive Work with Special Reference to Rest Pauses" ( London: Industrial Fatigue Research Board, Report No. 32, 1925); S. Wyatt, J. A. Frazer, and F. G. L. Stock, "The Comparative Effects of Variety and Uniformity in Work" ( London: Industrial Fatigue Research Board, Report No. 52, 1928); S. Wyatt, J. A. Frazer, and F. G. L. Stock, "The Effect of Monotony in Work" ( London: Industrial Fatigue Research Board, Report No. 56, 1929); S. Wyatt, J. N. Langdon, and F. G. L. Stock, "Fatigue and Boredom in Repetitive Work" ( London: Industrial Health Research Board, Report No. 77, 1937).

-489-

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