Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. Csikszentmihalyi, M.

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Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990).  Flow: The psychology of optimal experience.  New York, NY: Harper & Row Publishers, Inc.

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Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist from the university of Chicago, defines the concept of flow as a peak state in which psychic energy is exerted in such a way that concentration is so focused that it leads to absolute absorption in an activity.  Time is distorted.  Self-consciousness dissolves along with fear and other emotional distractions.  People experiencing flow report feeling focused, strong, alert and in effortless control.  This sounds an awful lot like a powerful intrinsic motivator to me.

Indeed since this book was published and his theory has hit the mainstream, flow theory has been used widely in many different fields—including the development of curriculum and the study of life satisfaction and intrinsic motivation.  This is a fascinating read.  I highly recommend it to anyone interested in intrinsic motivation.


  1. Psychology is one of the most interesting branches of science because there are so many unknowns.”*

  2. akporehe dorah a says:

    i am excited on your theory of flow.i would have really wanted a copy of it so that i can read and apply for a study as a theoretical framework on internal efficiency in school.it seems applicable for many aspects of life .