SUCCESS Materials – English

Positivity – Theoretical Background – Flow


Flow is the term used to describe the experience within which individuals lose track of place, time and self-consciousness due to their attention being fully invested in a task which is a considerable source of interest and stimulation. Through the experience of flow, it is expected that the individuals are focused on what we call “here and now” by being fully devoted in the current endeavour, which should lead to them functioning at their optimum level (Csikszentmihalyi, 2009). Some of the conditions that facilitate flow are structured activities with has clearly defined goals, offers the requisite balance of challenges and skills, demands complete concentration and provides the individual in question with a sense of control over the situation. The experience of flow amongst adolescents is associated with students exhibiting high levels of intrinsic motivation (Hektner & Csikszentmihalyi, 1996), enhanced rates of positive emotion (Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2005), increased commitmentment to education and improved overall academic achievement (Massimini, Delle Fave, & Carli, 1988). It has also been noted that regular instances of flow are associated with a rise in the time spent participating in productive/meaningful activities (Hektner & Assawa, 2000).