Lately I have been musing on what is an emotion. My realization is that emotions serve the purpose of modifying interactions with the environment. Emotions, as such, are comprised of a few facets.
The primary facet is arousal. It is these changes in arousal that led to the evolution of emotions. High states of arousal such fear or anxiety prime the individual to respond to the environment in a beneficial manner.
Additionally, there is the valence of an emotion. When an emotion is positive it is encouraging the type of interaction with the environment that the individual is already engaged in. For example, to experience happiness is to know that the environment is beneficial to the individual and encourages a similar type of engagement. For negative emotions, the opposite is true. When experience fear, an individual must change his or her interaction with the environment in order to respond to the object that is creating fear.
Finally, there is the cognitive component of the emotion. This is comprised of the situational features that allow for the individual to recognize the emotional state that he or she is experiencing. This includes conscious realizations such as triggers of an emotion (e.g. a gun) and automatic responses (e.g. facial feedback).
Does boredom represent a state of low or high arousal? We already know that it is a negative emotion. We also already know that one of the key situational features of boredom is the inability to maintain cognitive focus, so a lapse in attention.