The Psychology of Csikszentmihalyi's Flow: Investigating Relations to Personality and Achievement
Prof. Scott Ross, Dept. of Psychology
Project: The Psychology of Csikszentmihalyi's Flow: Investigating Relations to Personality and Achievement
Maya Arcilla, Doug Tipsword, Hengshuo Zhang, Ellie Hoover, Adam May
Professor Scott Ross with his team of Maya Arcilla, Doug Tipsword, Hengshuo Zhang, Ellie Hoover, and Adam May are researching Csikszentmihalyi's concept of Flow as it relates to personality and achievement. Flow is the psychology of optimal experience; the feeling of being “in the zone.” This concept is especially important to musicians, artists, and athletes. Artists especially can work for days without noticing hunger or fatigue. The components of flow include clear goals, immediate feedback, balance between challenges and skills, mergence of action and awareness, distractions fade, no worry of failure, lack of self-consciousness, quick passage of time, and a self-rewarding experience.
The group’s research will focus on how personality affects how flow is experienced. Flow will be induced using two types of videogames. The first video game will be played for 10 minutes and is less challenging. The second will be played for 15 minutes, but it will be more challenging. After each video game the subject will rate that activity in terms of the amount of flow they experienced. This data will then be compared to the data taken about their personality traits using the five-factor model: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The team will look for personality traits that may correlate to higher levels of flow. The components of flow will also be analyzed to determine what components of flow are easier to achieve and the components that certain personality traits experience. The group will present their findings at the national conference of the Association for Psychological Science, one of the largest conferences in psychology.