Muireann O'Dea - PG Researcher Profile

PhD Researcher

Course: Structured Ph.D.
Role: PhD Student
Qualifications: BSc Psychology at the University of Limerick (1:1, First Class Honours)

Research Interests:

Muireann’s main research interests include boredom mitigation, positive psychology, and meaning in life. She is particularly interested in how possessing certain character strengths can lead to a reduction in boredom experiences.


Project Supervisors:

Dr. Eric R. Igou, Dr. Elaine L. Kinsella, and Dr. Wijnand van Tilburg (University of Essex)

Project Title:

“Taking Meaning on Bored: Character Strengths Reduce Boredom by Imbuing Life with Meaning”

Project Description:

Boredom is an incredibly prevalent experience and is associated with countless negative psychological and societal outcomes. Despite this, evidence-based boredom mitigation strategies and interventions are elusive. As a perceived lack of meaning in life has been identified as a key factor in producing feelings of boredom, this project proposes that increasing meaning in life through various character strengths can reduce boredom experiences. While meaning in life is not directly modifiable, character strengths are stable yet malleable aspects of personality that can be acquired through various positive psychology interventions. This project aims to establish the relationship of these variables with boredom and advance the literature on boredom mitigation strategies.

Awards and Honours:

Education and Health Sciences PhD EU Fee Waiver Award 2020

Department of Psychology Postgraduate Research Funding Spring 2021

University of Limerick Presidential List for outstanding academic achievement (QCA > 3.5) for all eligible Autumn and Spring semesters in undergraduate degree (2016/2017 academic year – 2019/2020 academic year)



Igou, E. R., O’Dea, M., & Van Tilburg, W. A. P. (2020). Boredom containment: Dispositional gratitude as a resource. [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Department of Psychology, University of Limerick.


Igou, E. R, O’Dea M. K., & Van Tilburg, W. A. P. (2020, June). Boredom containment: Dispositional gratitude as a resource. SWPS University of Social Sciences, Campus in Wroclaw, Poland.

O’Dea, M., Igou, E. R., & Van Tilburg, W. A. P. (2020, April). Too grateful to be bored: Dispositional gratitude reduces boredom. All Ireland Psychology Student Congress. (Psychological Society of Ireland).


Tutor and teaching assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Limerick.

Undergraduate Modules: Psychology and Everyday Life (PS4031) and Empirical Psychology I (PS4043).


SOCO-UL, Social Psychology and Cognition Research Lab

Psychological Society of Ireland