The Concept of Flow and Its Relation to Happiness and Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a Hungarian psychology professor who immigrated to the United States in 1956 at the age of 22. He is best known for his concept of flow and its relation to happiness and creativity. Flow has been generally described by many people as an intrinsic motivation where people are completely focused on a situation or task at hand. Csikszentmihalyi writes prolifically having published 120 articles and books or book chapters across all kinds of psychology topics. He is widely considered to be one of the motivating forces behind positive psychology given his focus on creativity and happiness. Csikszentmihalyi often mentions the roots of positive psychology going back to Aristotle.
Flow is a state a person enters which is akin to completely encompassing motivation and attention to what they are doing. Each person can experience flow under different circumstances and tasks and in fact the tasks that I personally experience flow under may be very different from the tasks that would make another person experience the same level of flow. Csikszentmihalyi (2008) wrote “the common characteristics of optimal experience: a sense that one’s skills are adequate to cope with the challenges at hand, in a goal-directed, rule-bound, action system that provides clear clues as to how well one is performing.”
Nakamura and Csíkszentmihályi (2001) identify the following six factors as encompassing an experience of flow.
1. intense and focused concentration on the present moment
2. merging of action and awareness
3. a loss of reflective self-consciousness
4. a sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
5. a distortion of temporal experience, one's subjective experience of time is altered
6. experience of ...

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...lectronic learning environments: Games, flow and the user interface. Presentation at the national convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), St. Louis, MO, USA.
Nakamura, J.; Csikszentmihalyi, M. 20 December 2001. "Flow Theory and Research". In C. R. Snyder Erik Wright, and Shane J. Lopez.Handbook of Positive Psychology. Oxford University Press. pp. 195–206.ISBN 978-0-19-803094-2. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
Rathunde, K., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2005). The social context of middle school: Teachers, friends, and activities in Montessori and traditional school environments. Elementary School Journal, 106, 59-79.
Rathunde, K. & Csikszetnmihalyi, M. (2005), "Middle school students' motivation and quality of experience: A comparison of Montessori and traditional school environments", American Journal of Education 111 (3): 341–371.
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