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Description: Have you heard the term “flow”? It is a concept out of Positive Psychology that tries to capture how a very wide range of people experience a deep focus when doing something that matters to them. The psychologist who crafted the concept and called it flow was Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Mihaly passed away earlier this month. Find out a bit about flow and about the life of the psychologist who researched the concept by reading though the articles linked below and if you find you want to know more about flow you can check out the links in the References/Read Further section further below.

Source: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Father of ‘Flow,’ Dies at 87, Clay Risen, The New York Times.

Date: October 27, 2021

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Article Link:

Flow can be seen and recognized across the full range of human experience, from athletes to artists to business professionals and entrepreneurs. It is a core concept within Positive Psychology, a newer part of psychology that was started by Mihaly and others such as Martin Seligman intended to involve the study of parts of the psychology of human functioning that were outside of the psychology’s stereotypic focus on mental disorder and dysfunction. In other words, the study of things that could make everyone’s life or experiences better, positive psychology.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What is flow?
  2. Can you think of some examples from your own life experience of times or situations in which you experienced flow?
  3. What are some areas of human experience that would potentially benefit from the development of a deeper understanding of what goes on there if examined from within the perspective of positive psychology?

References (Read Further):

Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). The concept of flow. In Flow and the foundations of positive psychology (pp. 239-263). Springer, Dordrecht. Link

Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Positive psychology: An introduction. In Flow and the foundations of positive psychology (pp. 279-298). Springer, Dordrecht. Link

Rodríguez-Carvajal, R., Moreno-Jiménez, B., de Rivas-Hermosilla, S., Álvarez-Bejarano, A., & Vergel, A. I. S. (2010). Positive psychology at work: Mutual gains for individuals and organizations. Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones, 26(3), 235-253. Link

Lee Duckworth, A., Steen, T. A., & Seligman, M. E. (2005). Positive psychology in clinical practice. Annu. Rev. Clin. Psychol., 1, 629-651. Link

Vallerand, R. J., & Verner-Filion, J. (2013). Making people’s life most worth living: On the importance of passion for positive psychology. Terapia psicológica, 31(1), 35-48. Link

Chen, J. (2007). Flow in games (and everything else). Communications of the ACM, 50(4), 31-34. Link