Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness / Edition 1

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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-à-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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an impressive cross-cultural effort....a valuable compilation of major theoretical and empirical developments in one volume....well worth the attention of psychologists who are concerned with intrinsic motivations in work and at play." Contemporary Psychology

"...an interdisciplinary anthology of some of the most stimulating conceptual extensions of the original flow model together with a selection from the research that in the past decade has rounded out our understanding of the conditions that make an enjoyable life possible." Exceptional Human Experience

"The book provides a theoretical model of optimal experience, gives accounts of flow in a variety of human situations. It also shows how certain ways of life promote flow, and describes the methodology and measurement of flow in everyday life." New Scientist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521438094
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/1992
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. A Theoretical Model of Optimal Experience: 1. Introduction Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi; 2. The flow experience and its significance for human psychology Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi; 3. Sociological implications of the flow experience Richard G. Mitchell Jr; 4. Flow and biocultural evolution fausto massimini Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Antonella Delle Fave; Part II. Varieties of the Flow Experience: 5. Introduction to Part II Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi and Isabella Csikszentmihalyi; 6. Bozozoku: flow in Japanese motorcycle gang Ikuya Sato; 7. Women, work, and flow Maria T. Allison and Margaret C. Duncan; 8. The relationship between life satisfaction and flow in elderly Korean immigrants Seongyeul Han; 9. Flow and writing Reed Larson; 10. Flow and solitary ordeals Richard Logan; Part III. Flow as a Way of Life: 11. Introduction to Part III Isabella Csikszentmihalyi and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi; 12. Modernisation and the changing context of flow in work and leisure Antonella Delle Fave and Fausto Massimini; 13. Ocean cruising Jim MacBeth; 14. Flow in a historical context: the case of the Jesuits Isabella Csikszentmihalyi; Part IV. The Measurement of Flow in Everyday Life: 15. Introduction to Part IV Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Isabella Csikszentmihalyi; 16. The systematic assessment of flow in daily experience Massimo Carli and Fausto Massimini; 17. The quality of experience in the flow channels: comparison of Italian and US students Massimo Carli, Antonella Delle Fave and Fausto Massimini; 18. Flow and the quality of experience during work and leisure Judith Le Fevre; 19. Optimal experience and the uses of talent Jeanne Nakamura; 20. Self-esteem and optimal experience Anne J. Wells; 21. Optimal experience and the family context Kevin Rathunde; 22. The future of flow Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

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