Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness

Front Cover
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Isabella Selega Csikszentmihalyi
Cambridge University Press, Jul 31, 1992 - Psychology - 416 pages
4 Reviews
What constitutes enjoyment of life? Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness offers a comprehensive survey of theoretical and empirical investigations of the "flow" experience, a desirable or optimal state of consciousness that enhances a person's psychic state. "Flow" can be said to occur when people are able to meet the challenges of their environment with appropriate skills, and accordingly feel a sense of well-being, a sense of mastery, and a heightened sense of self-esteem. The authors show the diverse contexts and circumstances in which flow is reported in different cultures (e.g. Japan, Korea, Australia, Italy), and describe its positive emotional impacts. They reflect on the concept of flow vis--vis modern social structures, historical phenomena, and evolutionary biocultural selection. The ways in which the ability to experience flow affects work satisfaction, academic success, and the overall quality of life are suggested; and the childrearing practices that result in the ability to derive enjoyment from life, considered.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

GEBRUIKT - BRON VERMELDEN

Review: Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness

User Review  - James - Goodreads

A groundbreaking book on the simple topic of happiness - what makes us happy? The author's conclusion is that people are happiest when we are engaged in activities that we find so interesting that we ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
The flow experience and its significance for human psychology
15
Sociological implications of the flow experience
36
Flow and biocultural evolution
60
VARIETIES OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE
83
Introduction to Part II
85
Bosozoku flow in Japanese motorcycle gangs
92
Women work and flow
118
Flow in a historical context the case of the Jesuits
232
THE MEASUREMENT OF FLOW IN EVERYDAY LIFE
249
Introduction to Part IV
251
The systematic assessment of flow in daily experience
266
The quality of experience in the flow channels comparison of Italian and US students
288
Flow and the quality of experience during work and leisure
307
Optimal experience and the uses of talent
319
Selfesteem and optimal experience
327

The relationship between life satisfaction and flow in elderly Korean immigrants
138
Flow and writing
150
Flow in solitary ordeals
172
FLOW AS A WAY OF LIFE
181
Introduction to Part III
183
Modernization and the changing contexts of flow in work and leisure
193
Ocean cruising
214
Optimal experience and the family context
342
The future of flow
364
References
384
Name index
403
Subject index
409
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1992)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced "ME-high CHICK-sent-me-high-ee) is a professor and former chairman of the Department of English at the University of Chicago. His writings have focused on models of enjoyment and how various people access their creative potential. The idea of creative potential, which Csikszentmihalyi terms "flow" has become increasingly popular in the public sector. His 1993 book, Flow, inspired Jimmy Johnson then coach of the World Champion Dallas Cowboys, and was the subject of a feature story during that year's Super Bowl television broadcast. His ideas have also been touted by President Clinton, who called Csikszentmihalyi one of his favorite authors, Newt Gingrich, who put his work on the reading list for a political planning committee, and corporations and cultural institutions, such as Volvo in Sweden and the Chicago Park District. He has published articles in a variety of magazines, including Psychology Today, The New York Times, Omni, and Wired and has made appearances on television in the U.S. and Europe. Csikszentmihalyi currently serves on boards and commissions for the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, and the Social Science Research Council. He has held visiting professorships at universities in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Italy, and Finland. He received the1990 NRPA National Research (Roosevelt) Award, in addition to two Senior Fulbright Fellowships. Besides Flow, he has also written Beyond Boredom and Anxiety and Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, in which he applies his "flow" theory to various inventors, scientists, and artists to determine how and why they achieve "flow.

Bibliographic information