The Experience of Tedium in Life and Work

Ditsa Kafry, Ayala Pines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Tedium, the experience of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion, was introduced. It was assumed to stem from chronic daily pressures. Tedium was predicted to be related to: (1) internal features which include pressures inherent in the individual's roles and imposed on the cognitive capacity and the need for meaningfulness and achievement; and (2) external features which include pressures imposed on the individual by the physical, organizational, and social environment. A trilogy of studies designed to develop a tedium measure, to test its reliability and validity, and to study its relationships to internal and external life and work features was presented. It was concluded that tedium is a highly relevant psychological construct, experienced in its extreme form by 6% of the people studied (N = 1187). Tedium was found to be a significant correlate of both internal and external life and work features. The comparison between life and work features showed that the former are more highly related to tedium than the latter. Life was also found to be a higher source of rewards and a lower source of pressures relative to work. The need to develop a more rigorous causal model of tedium was stressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-503
Number of pages27
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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