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Charles Dickens popularised the term boredom in 1853. Boredom became particularly popular in English Victorian writing in describing the life of the upper class, where boredom was indicating a privileged social standing.
In the second part of the 19th century and the early 20th century boredom was less flattering and one that confronted everybody, not just the upper class. According to Arthur Schopenhauer, boredom was evidence of the lack of purpose and meaning in life.
In the 20th century, psychologists gained an understanding of many emotions, but boredom was left alone. In 1972, psychoanalyst Erich Fromm declared boredom as "the most important source of aggression and destructiveness today."
The image of boredom changed again in the past few decades and with it, an appreciation of the emotion.
Thus, it seems that boredom helps regulate our behaviour and stops us from getting stuck in unrewarding situations.
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