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Proneness for psychological flow in everyday life: Associations with personality and intelligence

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Flow is an experience of enjoyment, concentration, and low self-awareness that occurs during active task performance. We investigated associations between the tendency to experience flow (flow proneness), Big Five personality traits and intelligence in two samples. We hypothesized a negative relation between flow proneness and neuroticism, since negative affect could interfere with the affective component of flow. Secondly, since sustained attention is a component of flow, we tested whether flow proneness is positively related to intelligence. Sample 1 included 137 individuals who completed tests for flow proneness, intelligence, and Big Five personality. In Sample 2 (all twins; n=2539), flow proneness and intelligence, but not personality, were measured. As hypothesized, we found a negative correlation between flow proneness and neuroticism in Sample 1. Additional exploratory analyses revealed a positive association between flow proneness and conscientiousness. There was no correlation between flow proneness and intelligence. Although significant for some comparisons, associations between intelligence and flow proneness were also very weak in Sample 2. We conclude that flow proneness is associated with personality rather than intelligence, and discuss that flow may be a state of effortless attention that relies on different mechanisms from those involved in attention during mental effort.
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Proneness for psychological flow in everyday life: Associations with personality
and intelligence
Fredrik Ullén
a,
, Örjan de Manzano
a
, Rita Almeida
c
, Patrik K.E. Magnusson
b
, Nancy L. Pedersen
b
,
Jeanne Nakamura
d
, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
d
, Guy Madison
e
a
Dept. of Women’s and Children’s Health and Stockholm Brain Institute, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
b
Dept. of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
c
Dept. of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
d
Quality of Life Research Center, Claremont Graduate University, CA, USA
e
Dept. of Psychology, Umeå University, Sweden
article info
Article history:
Received 18 May 2011
Received in revised form 4 October 2011
Accepted 8 October 2011
Available online 8 November 2011
Keywords:
Neuroticism
Conscientiousness
IQ
Enjoyment
Motivation
Attention
Personality
Intelligence
Flow
Expertise
abstract
Flow is an experience of enjoyment, concentration, and low self-awareness that occurs during active task
performance. We investigated associations between the tendency to experience flow (flow proneness),
Big Five personality traits and intelligence in two samples. We hypothesized a negative relation between
flow proneness and neuroticism, since negative affect could interfere with the affective component of
flow. Secondly, since sustained attention is a component of flow, we tested whether flow proneness is
positively related to intelligence. Sample 1 included 137 individuals who completed tests for flow prone-
ness, intelligence, and Big Five personality. In Sample 2 (all twins; n= 2539), flow proneness and intelli-
gence, but not personality, were measured. As hypothesized, we found a negative correlation between
flow proneness and neuroticism in Sample 1. Additional exploratory analyses revealed a positive associ-
ation between flow proneness and conscientiousness. There was no correlation between flow proneness
and intelligence. Although significant for some comparisons, associations between intelligence and flow
proneness were also very weak in Sample 2. We conclude that flow proneness is associated with person-
ality rather than intelligence, and discuss that flow may be a state of effortless attention that relies on
different mechanisms from those involved in attention during mental effort.
Ó2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Flow is a state of concentration, low self-awareness and enjoy-
ment that typically occurs during activities that are challenging but
matched in difficulty to the person’s skill level. Several elements
recur in verbalizations of this state (Csikszentmihalyi &
Csikszentmihalyi, 1988). Actions feel effortless and automatic
although there is a subjective sense of high control and concentra-
tion, or even absorption in the task. Goals are clear and there is
unambiguous feedback on performance. Self-reflective thoughts
and fear of evaluation by others are low. Time perception may be
altered. Finally, flow is highly enjoyable, i.e. performance is accom-
panied by positive affect. Flow experiences can occur in a wide
range of activities, from chess playing to mountain climbing
(Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, 1988). While there appear
to be considerable differences between individuals with regard to
the conditions and tasks that are conducive to flow, the state itself
is described in remarkably similar terms regardless of socioeco-
nomic status, age, culture and ethnicity (Asakawa, 2004, 2010; Bas-
si & Delle Fave, 2004; Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, 1988;
Moneta, 2004).
Flow has been studied using self-report questionnaires designed
to capture the major dimensions of the flow experience discussed
above (Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, 1988; de Manzano,
Theorell, Harmat, & Ullén, 2010; Jackson & Eklund, 2004). Self-re-
port instruments have also been developed to measure the disposi-
tional tendency of an individual to have flow experiences, e.g.
Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Questionnaire (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975;
Csikszentmihalyi & Schneider, 2000), with items on the frequency
of flow states in everyday life, and Jackson and Eklund’s Disposi-
tional Flow Scale-2 (DFS-2) (Jackson & Eklund, 2004), which mea-
sures the frequency of flow experiences during a particular type
of activity.
There are large individual differences in the frequency and
intensity of flow experiences (Asakawa, 2010; Csikszentmihalyi &
0191-8869/$ - see front matter Ó2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.10.003
Corresponding author. Address: Dept. of Women’s and Children’s Health and
Stockholm Brain Institute, Karolinska Institutet, Retzius v. 8, SE-171 77 Stockholm,
Sweden. Tel.: +46 8 524 832 68; fax: +46 8 517 773 49.
E-mail address: Fredrik.Ullen@ki.se (F. Ullén).
Personality and Individual Differences 52 (2012) 167–172
Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect
Personality and Individual Differences
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/paid
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Csikszentmihalyi, 1988; Csikszentmihalyi & Schneider, 2000; Mon-
eta, 2004). These differences are likely to depend both on individ-
ual traits and on situational variables. Flow proneness is positively
related to self-esteem, self-concept and perceived ability (Adlai-
Gail, 1994; Asakawa, 2010; Jackson, Kimiecik, Ford, & Marsh,
1998; Jackson, Thomas, Marsh, & Smethurst, 2001); life satisfaction
(Asakawa, 2010); intrinsic motivation (Jackson et al., 1998) and
enjoyment (Hamilton, Haier, & Buchsbaum, 1984); psychological
well-being (Asakawa, 2004, 2010; Ishimura & Kodama, 2006);
and a tendency to adopt active rather than passive coping strate-
gies (Asakawa, 2010). Negative relations have been reported be-
tween flow proneness and anxiety (Asakawa, 2010; Jackson et al.,
1998).
The aim of the present study was to investigate associations be-
tween flow proneness and the major dimensions of the standard
five-factor model of personality (McCrae & Costa, 1990), as well
as general intelligence. Specifically, we hypothesized a negative
relation between flow proneness and neuroticism. Several features
of neuroticism – in particular, a high reactivity to negative stimuli,
and a proneness to negative affect (Gray & McNaughton, 2000;
McCrae & Costa, 1990) – could plausibly interfere with flow states.
As mentioned, several studies have indeed found that flow prone-
ness is negatively related to trait anxiety, and positively related to
psychological well-being (Asakawa, 2004, 2010; Ishimura & Kod-
ama, 2006; Jackson et al., 1998). Associations between flow prone-
ness and the four other Big Five dimensions were investigated in
exploratory analysis. With regard to intelligence, performance on
tests of sustained attention show substantial positive associations
with psychometric general intelligence (Schweizer & Moosbrugger,
2004). Indeed, analyses of the cognitive processes utilized during
solving of the Raven Progressive Matrices test, which mainly mea-
sures general intelligence, have shown that individual differences
on the test are related to the ability to sustain problem-solving
goals in working memory (Carpenter, Just, & Shell, 1990). Notably,
however, the high concentration during flow states appears to dif-
fer from effortful attention both in terms of subjective experience
(Csikszentmihalyi & Nakamura, 2010) and physiological correlates
(de Manzano et al., 2010). A positive relation between flow prone-
ness and intelligence would support that effortful and effortless
attention nevertheless share mechanisms; if the relation were
weak or nil, it would rather suggest that the involved mechanisms
differ.
2. Materials and methods
2.1. Participants
Sample 1 consisted of 137 individuals (83 females), aged 19–
49 years (mean = 25.6, SD = 5.0 years). The participants were re-
cruited through posters at Karolinska Institutet and Umeå Univer-
sity, and consisted of university students.
Sample 2 consisted of 2593 twin individuals (1342 females),
aged 51–68 years (mean = 58.6, SD = 4.6): 147 complete monozy-
gotic pairs, 218 complete dizygotic pairs, one complete pair with
unknown zygosity, and 1861 individuals from pairs for which only
one member of the pair participated. Data from Sample 2 was ac-
quired as part of a large wave of data collection (SALTY) coordi-
nated by the Swedish Twin Registry, from a cohort of twins born
between 1943 and 1958 (n= 25000). Sample 2 thus consists of
those individuals in that cohort who chose to participate in the
present web based collection of data on intelligence and flow
proneness.
Ethical approval for the study was given by the Regional Ethical
Review Board in Stockholm (Dnr 2008/1735-31/3) and the Ethical
Committe of Umeå University (Dnr 09-065 Ö).
2.2. Psychological tests
2.2.1. Flow proneness
Proneness to experience flow was measured using a newly
developed Swedish Flow Proneness Questionnaire (SFPQ). The
SFPQ was designed as a self-report measure of how frequently
the participant has flow experiences in three different situations
typical for division of activities in industrialized societies, i.e. work,
maintenance, and leisure time. The SFPQ has 22 items, 7 for each
domain and an initial branching question on whether the partici-
pant is professionally active, since the first 7 items on flow at work
are only answered by individuals that are employed. An English
translation is provided in Table 1. Each item has five response
alternatives ordered on a Likert scale: 1, ‘‘Never’’; 2, ‘‘Rarely’’; 3,
‘‘Sometimes’’; 4, ‘‘Often’’; 5, ‘‘Everyday, or almost everyday’’. The
items were chosen to capture the main dimensions of a flow expe-
rience (Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, 1988), i.e. a subjec-
tive sense of concentration, balance between skills and the
challenge of a task, explicit goals, clear feedback, sense of control,
lack of a sense of boredom and enjoyment. Earlier factor analyses
of the DFS-2 flow scale have shown these dimensions to have the
highest loadings on a global flow factor (Jackson & Eklund, 2004).
For a confirmatory factor analysis of the SFPQ, see Supplementary
Data Mean scores of the 7 items in each domain were used to cal-
culate separate measures of flow proneness in professional life (FP-
Work), maintenance (FP-Maintenance), and leisure time (FP-Lei-
sure). The mean of all items was used as a measure of overall flow
proneness (FP-Total).
2.2.2. Personality
Personality was measured with the Swedish version (Bergman,
2003) of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) (Costa
& McCrae, 1992). This is a 240-item inventory based on the five
factor model of personality (McCrae & Costa, 1990), and thus mea-
sures the higher-order personality factors Openness, Conscien-
tiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.
2.2.3. Intelligence
Intelligence in Sample 1 was measured either with the Raven
SPM Plus (n= 106) or the Wiener Matrizen Test (WMT; n= 31).
The reason that two tests were used was that these two groups
were also included in other studies on intelligence and temporal
accuracy of behavior, the results of which will be reported else-
where. In Sample 2, intelligence was measured using the WMT in
all participants. The SPM Plus is a 60-item version of the standard
Raven test. It is highly correlated with general fluid intelligence
(Gustafsson, 1984; Styles, Raven, & Raven, 1998), and requires
effortful attention (Carpenter et al., 1990). The WMT is a 24-item
test which is similar in construction to the Raven test, with which
it is highly correlated (r= .92) (Formann & Piswanger, 1979).
2.3. Testing procedure
In Sample 1, all tests were administered individually under
supervision. In accordance with the manuals, the SPM Plus was
untimed while a 25 min time limit was used for the WMT (For-
mann & Piswanger, 1979; Styles et al., 1998). Scores for both intel-
ligence tests were transformed into standard scores before pooling.
In Sample 2, the data collection took place online through a test
web site. Each participant received a personal login and password
through ordinary mail. The online version of the WMT was imple-
mented using scanned versions of the original items, and the same
time limit (25 min) as the standard paper-and-pencil version.
168 F. Ullén et al. / Personality and Individual Differences 52 (2012) 167–172
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2.4. Statistical analyzes
The internal consistency and reliability of the SFPQ and WMT
were estimated using Cronbach’s alpha and the Spearman–Brown
split half coefficient, which also can be interpreted as a short-term
test–retest reliability indicator. We also compared the vectors of
the item difficulties (i.e. proportion of the sample that gave a cor-
rect answer to the item) of the WMT in the different samples, using
Spearman rank order correlations.
The aim of the analyses in Sample 2 was to investigate associa-
tions between intelligence and flow proneness in a larger sample,
given the null relation found in Sample 1 (see Section 3). To ac-
count for the relatedness of the twins we used a randomized
two-sample design, where the original sample was randomly split
into two independent subsamples, Sample 2a (n= 1296) and Sam-
ple 2b (n= 1297). The two members of complete pairs were always
assigned to different subsamples. Sample 2 was also used for a con-
firmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the SFPQ, the details of which are
presented as Supplementary Data.
3. Results
3.1. Construct validity, reliability and internal consistency of the SFPQ
and the WMT
The construct validity of the SFPQ was evaluated in Samples 2a
and 2b, using a confirmatory factor analysis (see Supplementary
Data). A model with the three flow proneness domains (work,
maintenance and leisure) the test was intended to measure, as well
as the seven main flow dimensions, as latent variables (see Supple-
mentary Fig 1), was found to fit the data well. The comparative fit
index (CFI) of this model was .955 for Sample 2a, and .96 for Sam-
ple 2b. The Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) was
.045 for Sample 2a and .04 for Sample 2b. A CFI above .9 and a
RMSEA below .05 are commonly considered to indicate good fit
of a model (Bentler, 1990; Browne & Cudeck, 1993; Hu & Bentler,
1999). We therefore assume that the SFPQ indeed is measuring
what it was intended to measure, i.e. proneness for flow experi-
ences in three domains of life.
Data on the internal consistency (Cronbach alpha) and the reli-
ability (Spearman–Brown split-half coefficient) of the SFPQ and the
WMT are summarized in Table 2. For the SFPQ these measures
were calculated for those participants who were employed and,
accordingly, responded to the items in all three subscales, FP-
Work, FP-Maintenance, and FP-Leisure (Table 2). In both super-
vised (Sample 1) and online (Samples 2a and 2b) administrations
of the SFPQ, values for Cronbach alpha and split-half reliability
were high (>.8) with weighted average values of .83 and .87,
respectively.
Good internal consistency and reliability were also found for the
WMT in all three samples (Table 2), with weighted means of .79
(Cronbach alpha) and .80 (split-half coefficient). The rank order
correlations of the item difficulty vectors of the WMT were close
to unity between the two twin samples (Spearman R= .999;
t(22) = 112.40; p< .00001), and highly correlated also between
Sample 1 and Sample 2a (R= .92; t(22) = 11.35; p< .00001) and be-
tween Sample 1 and Sample 2b (R= .92; t(22) = 11.20; p< .00001).
3.2. Descriptive statistics
Descriptive data on test scores are summarized in Table 3.In
Sample 1, flow proneness was lower and intelligence scores were
higher than in the twin Samples (2a and 2b). These differences
were significant for all flow dimensions and for the WMT (one-
way ANOVAs; pvalues < .00001).
Table 1
The Flow Proneness Questionnaire (SFPQ). English translation. Items 2–8 are only answered by participants with an employment.
1 Are you professionally active? (Yes/No)
(If No, go to item 9)
When you do something at work, how often does it happen that...
2...you feel bored?
3...it feels as if your ability to perform what you do completely matches how difficult it is?
4...you have a clear picture of what you want to achieve, and what you need to do to get there?
5...you are conscious of how well or poorly you perform what you are doing?
6...you feel completely concentrated?
7...you have a sense of complete control?
8...what you do feels extremely enjoyable to do?
When you are doing household work or other routine chores (e.g. cooking, cleaning, shopping) how often does it happen that...
9–15 Identical to items 2–8.
When you do something in your leisure time, how often does it happen that...
16–22 Identical to items 2–8.
Table 2
Internal consistency and split-half reliability of the SFPQ and the WMT in the different
samples.
Sample SFPQ WMT
n Cronbach
alpha
Split-half
coefficient
nCronbach
alpha
Split-half
coefficient
1 75 .85 .87 31 .74 .86
2a 1029 .83 .88 1296 .80 .80
2b 1004 .83 .87 1297 .79 .80
Weighted
mean
.83 .87 .79 .80
Table 3
Test scores in the different samples. Values are means with the standard deviation in
parentheses.
Sample 1 Sample 2a Sample 2b
Flow proneness
FP-Work 3.43 (.57) 3.98 (.47) 3.95 (.47)
FP-Maintenance 3.48 (.57) 3.73 (.51) 3.67 (.54)
FP-Leisure 3.69 (.51) 3.84 (.46) 3.81 (.47)
FP-Total 3.56 (.44) 3.84 (.46) 3.79 (.43)
Intelligence
SPM 45.8 (5.40) - -
WMT 15.7 (4.01) 10.9 (4.48) 11.0 (4.55)
Personality
Extraversion 53.7 (8.90) - -
Neuroticism 53.8 (10.96) - -
Conscientiousness 46.9 (12.76) - -
Openness 57.6 (9.58) - -
Agreeableness 47.5 (10.47) - -
F. Ullén et al. / Personality and Individual Differences 52 (2012) 167–172 169
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To explore differences between flow dimensions, we used re-
peated measures ANOVAs with SFPQ score as dependent variable
and flow domain as a within-subject factor with three levels (FP-
Work, FP-Leisure, and FP-Maintenance). In Sample 1, a significant
effect of flow domain was found [F(2, 148) = 8.53; p= .0003]. A
post-hoc Tukey HSD test showed that FP-Leisure scores were sig-
nificantly higher than both FP-Work (p= .0002) and FP-Mainte-
nance (p= .008) scores. There was no significant difference
between FP-Work and FP-Maintenance (p= .60). Significant effects
of flow domain were found also in Sample 2a [F(2, 1986) = 149.37;
p< .00001] and Sample 2b [F(2, 1948) = 162.48; p< .00001]. Post-
hoc tests (Tukey HSD) showed significant differences between all
domains in both samples (pvalues < .00001). Notably, in contrast
to in Sample 1, FP-Work scores were higher than both FP-Mainte-
nance and FP-Leisure scores in Samples 2a and 2b.
3.3. Flow proneness and personality
Big Five personality data was available only in Sample 1. To test
the hypothesis that flow proneness is negatively related to neurot-
icism, we investigated general linear models with the different
measures of flow proneness as dependent variable, neuroticism
as independent variable and sex and age as covariates of no inter-
est. In the model with FP-Total as dependent variable, a substantial
negative effect of neuroticism was found [b=.41; F(3,
133) = 25.23; p< .00001]. Negative relations were seen between
all three individual SFPQ scales and neuroticism: FP-Work
[b=.33; F(3, 71) = 8.65; p= .004], FP-Maintenance [b=.32;
F(3, 133) = 15.11; p= .0002], and FP-Leisure [b=.32; F(3,
133) = 14.02; p= .0003].
Secondly, we used forward stepwise regression to explore rela-
tions between flow proneness and all five NEO PI-R dimensions
(Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and
Neuroticism) as well as intelligence. Since the previous analysis
did not demonstrate any major differences between the flow do-
mains in relations to neuroticism, we performed this analysis only
for FP-Total. In the final model, significant relations were found
with neuroticism [b=.28; F(2, 134) = 12.02; p= .0007] and con-
scientiousness [b= .30; F(2, 134) = 13.58; p= .0003]. Together, neu-
roticism and conscientiousness explained 22% of the total variance
in FP-Total. Adding all remaining personality dimensions and intel-
ligence scores to this model only explained an additional 3.3% of
the FP-Total variance.
3.4. Flow proneness and intelligence
To investigate whether flow proneness is related to intelligence,
we used general linear models with measures on the three SFPQ
scales as well as FP-Total as dependent variables, intelligence
scores as independent variable, and sex and age as covariates of
no interest. Results of these analyses are summarized in Table 4.
In Sample 1, no significant associations were found. Since this
sample had a limited size (n= 137) and since, furthermore, two dif-
ferent intelligence tests were employed (WMT, n= 31; and Raven
SPM Plus, n= 106), we investigated the intelligence-flow
proneness relation in the larger twin cohort (Sample 2, n= 2593),
where intelligence was measured with the WMT for all partici-
pants. To handle dependence between observations because of re-
lated subjects this sample was split into two independent
subsamples, so that twins from the same pair were sorted ran-
domly into different subsamples (Sample 2a and 2b; see Methods).
Relations between intelligence and flow proneness were very weak
and inconsistent for all SFPQ measures in both subsamples,
although some of the effects were still significant due to the large
sample sizes (Table 4). The weighted average of the bcoefficient for
intelligence, across samples, was .11 for FP-Work and even smaller
for the other scales and FP-Total, suggesting that intelligence and
flow proneness are essentially unrelated traits.
4. Discussion
4.1. Flow proneness and personality
A main finding of the study is that flow proneness is associated
with major personality dimensions (neuroticism and conscien-
tiousness) but essentially unrelated to intelligence. Specifically,
the hypothesis that flow proneness is negatively associated with
neuroticism was confirmed. A negative relation was found for all
SFPQ dimensions, i.e. during work, maintenance and leisure, sug-
gesting that a high level of neuroticism is detrimental for flow
experiences across a wide range of situations. This in turn suggests
that neuroticism affects cognitive and emotional processes that are
of general importance for entering and sustaining flow, regardless
of the task. Several mechanisms could underlie the association.
First, neuroticism is characterized by a tendency to experience
negative affect (Gray & McNaughton, 2000). This could directly
interfere with the affective component of a flow state, i.e. enjoy-
ment, which presumably is important for the subjective experience
of flow as attention occurring without effort (Csikszentmihalyi &
Csikszentmihalyi, 1988; de Manzano et al., 2010). Secondly, a sali-
ent feature of neuroticism is emotional (Eid & Diener, 1999) and
cognitive (Flehmig, Steinborn, Langner, & Westhoff, 2007) state
instability, which is also seen as high variability even in simple
behaviors, such as reaction time (Flehmig et al., 2007; Robinson
& Tamir, 2005) and rhythmic motor tasks (Forsman, Madison, &
Ullén, 2009). Such fluctuations in performance could conceivably
affect both cognitive and emotional aspects of flow, causing an in-
creased risk for attentional lapses and a reduced sense of control
and skill. Thirdly, relations between neuroticism and flow prone-
ness could be complex, and mediated by other variables that influ-
ence an individual’s tendency to participate in situations and
activities that are conducive to flow. Kommaraju and colleagues
(Komarraju, Karau, & Schmeck, 2009) found that neuroticism is
positively associated with the amotivation factor in Deci and
Ryan’s self-determination theory of motivation (Ryan & Deci,
2000). Amotivation reflects a lack of motivation to become in-
volved in activities and a sense of futility in engagement. Intrinsic
enjoyment is positively related to flow proneness (Hamilton et al.,
1984), and to internal locus of control, a trait which in turn is neg-
atively related to neuroticism (Clarke, 2004). Finally, Asakawa
Table 4
Associations between SFPQ dimensions and intelligence in the different samples. Effect sizes (beta coefficients) and their corresponding p values are shown, controlling for sex
and age.
Sample FP-Work FP-Maintenance FP-Leisure FP-total
nbnbnbnb
175.08 (n.s.) 137 .08 (n.s.) 137 .08 (n.s.) 137 .12 (n.s.)
2a 1029 .17 (p< .00001) 1281 .077 (p= .007) 1252 .075 (p= . 009) 1296 .13 (p< .00001)
2b 1004 .068 (p= .03) 1279 .016 (n.s.) 1255 .079 (p= .006) 1297 .052 (n.s.)
Weighted mean .11 .025 .069 .080
170 F. Ullén et al. / Personality and Individual Differences 52 (2012) 167–172
Author's personal copy
found a positive association between flow proneness and the ten-
dency to adopt active problem-solving strategies when facing
everyday problems (Asakawa, 2010), while neuroticism is associ-
ated with an avoidance style, i.e. passivity, dependency, and pro-
crastination (D’Zurilla, Maydeu-Olivares, & Gallardo-Pujol, 2011).
Flow proneness was also associated with conscientiousness.
The contributions of Neuroticism (b=.28) and Conscientiousness
(b= .30) were comparable in magnitude in a model with both pre-
dictors included. Although this analysis was exploratory, a positive
relation between conscientiousness and flow proneness appears
reasonable in light of earlier literature. Conscientiousness is posi-
tively related to variables that also show positive associations with
flow proneness, i.e. active problem coping (D’Zurilla et al., 2011);
life satisfaction, subjective happiness and positive affect (Marrero
Quevedo & Carballeira Abella, 2011); and both intrinsic and extrin-
sic motivation (Komarraju et al., 2009). It is negatively related to
avoidance strategies in problem coping (D’Zurilla et al., 2011), neg-
ative affect (Marrero Quevedo & Carballeira Abella, 2011), and
amotivation (Komarraju et al., 2009). It seems likely that high con-
scientiousness involves emotional and motivational mechanisms
that make an individual engage in flow promoting activities. Fur-
thermore, flow appears to require not only a balance between task
difficulty and skills, but also that the challenges of the task is suf-
ficiently high in absolute terms (Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmih-
alyi, 1988). Highly conscientious individuals are presumably more
likely to spend enough time on deliberate practice to master more
challenging tasks (Kappe & van der Flier, 2010).
4.2. Flow proneness and intelligence
We found no significant relations between any of the SFPQ do-
mains and intelligence in Sample 1. Associations were also very
weak or non-significant in the larger twin samples: mean effects
(b) were lower than .1 for all SFPQ domains except for FP-Work,
where intelligence had a mean bcoefficient of .11. This association
could possibly reflect that higher intelligence increases the long-
term probability of getting a more stimulating and challenging
job that includes more flow-promoting tasks (Gottfredson, 2003).
Notably, work was more flow promoting than both leisure and
maintenance in the twin samples. In contrast, the younger stu-
dents in Sample 1 presumably often had relatively simple jobs as
extra sources of income alongside their studies. Indeed, work
was the least flow-promoting domain in this sample. At any rate,
the overall pattern of associations (see Table 4) makes it unlikely
that biological factors affecting intelligence would be of impor-
tance for flow. If that were the case, one would expect a consistent
association across flow domains. The intelligence tests employed
here mainly measure general fluid intelligence (Gf) which in turn
is close to unity correlated with general psychometric intelligence
(g)(Gustafsson, 1984). Further studies will be required to test
whether flow proneness is related to other ability factors, e.g. crys-
tallized intelligence (Gc), which reflects knowledge and skills ac-
quired through acculturation and investment of other abilities
during education (McGrew, 2009).
The present results suggest that flow proneness is related to
personality but not to cognitive ability. We have previously found
that physiological correlates of flow differ from what is typically
seen during mental effort, in terms of respiratory pattern and emo-
tion-related activity in facial musculature (de Manzano et al.,
2010). Flow may thus be a state of subjectively effortless attention
that occurs during skilled performance and has different underly-
ing mechanisms from attention during mental effort (Ullén, de
Manzano, Theorell, & Harmat, 2010). Dietrich has suggested that
the flow state, in contrast to effortful attention, could involve tran-
sient hypofrontality (Dietrich, 2003). Another interesting specula-
tion is that flow has commonalities with states of high
concentration experienced during meditation, and that the ante-
rior cingulate cortex is important for cognitive control in such
states (Posner, Rothbart, Rueda, & Tang, 2010). An important chal-
lenge for further studies on the neuropsychology of flow will cer-
tainly be to identify the neural correlates of the flow experience
itself.
Appendix A. Supplementary data
Supplementary data associated with this article can be found, in
the online version, at doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.10.003.
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Supplementary resource (1)

... Once the activity is over, a positive emotion, namely, enjoyment, is experienced which compels one to experience flow on future occasions. Moreover, empirical studies have associated flow proneness with low impulsiveness and stable emotions (Ullén et al., 2012;Ross and Keiser, 2014). In this regard, individuals who use effective emotional regulation strategies will experience flow more often. ...
... In the field of psychology, a few studies have examined the relationship between flow proneness and the big five factors (Ullén et al., 2012;Bassi et al., 2014;Ross and Keiser, 2014). In this regard, these studies have found a positive correlation between conscientiousness and flow proneness and a negative correlation between neuroticism and the propensity to be in flow (Ullén et al., 2012;Ross and Keiser, 2014). ...
... In the field of psychology, a few studies have examined the relationship between flow proneness and the big five factors (Ullén et al., 2012;Bassi et al., 2014;Ross and Keiser, 2014). In this regard, these studies have found a positive correlation between conscientiousness and flow proneness and a negative correlation between neuroticism and the propensity to be in flow (Ullén et al., 2012;Ross and Keiser, 2014). Given the fact that conscientious individuals are focused and active, have selfdiscipline and show persistence in the pursuit of their goals , they are able to keep their attention on relevant features of the task at hand and sustain the flow state. ...
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Teaching is one of the professions that creates opportunities for individuals to experience flow, a state of complete absorption in an activity. However, very few studies have examined ESL/EFL teachers’ flow states inside or outside the classroom. As such, this study aimed to explore the quality of experience of 75 EFL teachers in flow and also examine the relationships between their emotional intelligence, the Big Five personality traits and the flow state. To this end, the teachers filled out recurrent flow surveys for a week, and also completed emotional intelligence and the Big Five personality questionnaires. It was found that reading was the major flow trigger outside the classroom and teaching and delivering lessons was the most significant flow-inducing activity for the teachers inside the classroom. Furthermore, correlations and independent samples t-tests indicated that all emotional intelligence and personality traits had significant relationships with flow except agreeableness. Finally, multiple regression analysis showed that two personality traits, conscientiousness and openness to experience were the strongest predictors of the flow state. The implications for future flow-related research in the field of applied linguistics are discussed.
... Further, prior studies have established that individual differences exist in the frequency and intensity of experiencing flow (Ullén et al., 2012). Drawn on trait activation theory (Tett & Guterman, 2000), we argue that individual difference in flow proneness is likely to influence the effectiveness of daily playful work design on flow. ...
... Drawn on trait activation theory (Tett & Guterman, 2000), we argue that individual difference in flow proneness is likely to influence the effectiveness of daily playful work design on flow. The expression of flow proneness depends on the relevance and strength of situational cues (Ullén et al., 2012). Although PWD can be expected to create such cues (i.e., fun and challenge) and enhance the probability of experiencing flow, this may be particularly true for individuals with higher flow proneness because these people tend to experience flow more frequently and show a stronger inclination to enter flow. ...
... Third, taking into account flow proneness enriches the trait activation literature (Tett & Guterman, 2000) and sheds light on the boundary conditions under which PWD is most effective in triggering flow and creativity. The literature has already indicated the moderating role of playfulness and openness (Scharp et al., 2019), but we add to this by examining how flow proneness (a construct referring to the tendency and frequency of flow experience, cf., Ullén et al., 2012) may moderate the effect of PWD on flow. ...
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Playful work design refers to the process through which employees proactively create conditions within work activities that foster enjoyment and challenge without changing the design of the job itself. Using flow theory, we propose that employees experience more work-related flow (work enjoyment, work absorption, and intrinsic work motivation) on the days when they playfully design their work – with positive implications for creative performance on these days. In addition, based on trait activation theory, we hypothesize that flow proneness strengthens the relationship of playful work design with work-related flow. A daily diary approach was employed to test the hypotheses. In total, 149 participants completed both baseline and daily questionnaires across five consecutive working days (total N = 552). Alternative Uses Task was used to measure objective creativity at work. Multilevel analysis showed that playful work design was positively associated with work-related flow, and work-related flow was significantly related to creativity – on a daily basis. In addition, employees high (vs. low) in flow proneness reported more flow and creativity when playfully designing their work. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.
... Se han encontrado diferencias en la experiencia de Fluidez relacionadas con rasgos de personalidad del modelo de cinco factores (McCrae y Costa, 1990), como el neuroticismo o la responsabilidad. La frecuencia general de experimentar la Fluidez (es decir, la disposición o propensión a la Fluidez) se correlaciona positivamente con el rasgo de responsabilidad y negativamente con neuroticismo (Johnson et al., 2014;Ross y Keiser, 2014;Ullén et al., 2012). Más recientemente, un estudio con más de 10.000 gemelos suecos confirmó una asociación entre la propensión a la Fluidez general en la vida cotidiana y las principales dimensiones de personalidad del modelo de cinco factores, específicamente con rasgos que reflejan estabilidad emocional (bajo neuroticismo) y responsabilidad; también con la motivación intrínseca; y no mostró relación con la capacidad cognitiva (de momento, tampoco se ha relacionado con la inteligencia medida con el "Raven SPM Plus" o el "Wiener Matrizen ...
Thesis
La interpretación musical es una actividad compleja a nivel motor, cognitivo y emocional que depende de una variedad de factores, no solo relacionados con la competencia musical. Los estados psicológicos pueden influir en el nivel de competencia artística, ya que pueden facilitar o impedir que los músicos intérpretes muestren su verdadero potencial musical. El desarrollo de habilidades de autorregulación dirigidas a suscitar la respuesta de Fluidez puede contribuir a mejorar la calidad de su experiencia durante la interpretación, aumentar la motivación intrínseca, y facilitar el compromiso con la actividad durante largos períodos de tiempo (importante para los logros creativos y artísticos). En las enseñanzas musicales parece fundamental el desarrollo de habilidades psicológicas que preparen adecuadamente a los músicos y estudiantes de música a afrontar los estresores específicos vinculados a las demandas de sus estudios y de su futura profesión. Pero, más allá de los beneficios específicos en la actividad profesional, el entrenamiento en habilidades psicológicas de autorregulación podría influir en su salud y bienestar general. La teoría de la Fluidez se enmarca en la corriente de la Psicología Positiva, cuyo cuerpo de conocimiento ha ido en aumento desde el inicio del S. XXI. Desde esta corriente, la investigación científica se ha dirigido a comprender y construir aquellos factores que permiten que las personas, las comunidades y las sociedades prosperen. Los resultados del creciente número de investigaciones que han estudiado los efectos de aplicar la Psicología Positiva en diferentes ámbitos, muestran que la Psicología Positiva tiene una amplia base de evidencia que respalda su eficacia. Específicamente, la investigación sobre la experiencia de Fluidez ha aumentado durante los últimos años. La Fluidez “es un estado gratificante de profunda implicación y absorción que las personas experimentan cuando afrontan una actividad desafiante y perciben habilidades adecuadas para involucrarse” (EFRN, 2014)1. El fenómeno fue descrito por Csikszentmihalyi (1975)2 para explicar por qué las personas realizan actividades sin más motivo que la actividad en sí misma, sin recompensas extrínsecas, y, además, persisten en esas actividades. La experiencia de Fluidez es una experiencia reconocida como una realidad fenomenológica por personas de todas las edades, género, estatus socioeconómico y muy diversas culturas; y se considera como un estado positivo de conciencia por todas ellas. La evidencia que se ha obtenido a través de décadas de investigación ha mostrado que la experiencia de Fluidez, entendida como una experiencia óptima, sucede cuando los desafíos que una persona afronta, así como las habilidades que tiene para involucrarse están en equilibrio y a partir de un cierto nivel (superior a lo que uno realiza de forma más cotidiana en la vida diaria). Aunque estas relaciones están en parte moderadas por otros factores, tanto situacionales, como personales. La evidencia empírica también muestra que la Fluidez se asocia al afecto positivo. Cuando las personas experimentan Fluidez en una situación, también tienden a ser felices después. En el contexto de actividades que ofrecen desafíos óptimos para las habilidades que posee una persona, es un estado que se ha asociado de forma positiva con el rendimiento. En parte, porque el estado de Fluidez, como estado intrínsecamente gratificante, conduciría a un mayor compromiso con la actividad a lo largo del tiempo. En el ámbito de la música, existe una acumulación creciente de trabajos de investigación que han estudiado la Fluidez desde diferentes perspectivas. En el contexto de la interpretación musical, uno de los temas de mayor interés está relacionado con la contribución de la experiencia de Fluidez a la mejora de los síntomas de la Ansiedad Escénica Musical y a la mejora del rendimiento o calidad interpretativa. Para poder evaluar el estado de Fluidez en personas que interpretan música, pero también, para poder evaluar la eficacia de intervenciones dirigidas a desencadenar la respuesta de Fluidez, es necesario contar con un instrumento de medida del estado de Fluidez, validado en una muestra representativa de músicos intérpretes del Estado Español. El hilo conductor de la presente tesis ha sido la medición del estado de Fluidez en el contexto de la música. En primer lugar, se realizó la adaptación al español y la validación del instrumento de medida del estado de Fluidez, cuyas propiedades psicométricas se analizaron con una amplia muestra de 486 músicos del Estado Español que tenían una relación consolidada con la actividad musical (tanto estudiantes, profesionales, como aficionados). En segundo lugar, se utilizó el instrumento para evaluar el estado de Fluidez en personas con Altas Capacidades Intelectuales cuando interpretan música. Este estudio se realizó como un estudio piloto, dado que no existe en la literatura un trabajo previo en el que se haya medido el estado de Fluidez en estas personas. En tercer lugar, se utilizó el instrumento para evaluar un programa de intervención específico de entrenamiento de habilidades de autorregulación psicológica diseñado para músicos intérpretes. El objetivo principal fue desencadenar la respuesta de Fluidez y el afrontamiento de la Ansiedad Escénica Musical durante la interpretación. De los resultados obtenidos en los tres estudios se puede concluir, en primer lugar, que se dispone de una herramienta validada para evaluar el estado de Fluidez en músicos intérpretes. La validación de este instrumento puede tener implicaciones clínicas y educativas, ya que el uso del cuestionario permite identificar aspectos importantes de lo que facilita o inhibe una actuación musical o del mismo aprendizaje. También puede utilizarse para futuras investigaciones donde se desee medir la variable estado de Fluidez. En segundo lugar, los resultados del segundo estudio sugieren una relación entre las personas con altas capacidades, la experiencia de Fluidez, concretamente en la experiencia de la pérdida de la autoconciencia, y aspectos de la personalidad creativa. Los resultados también sugieren que las personas con altas capacidades podrían controlar mejor su atención, disfrutar más durante el aprendizaje y, por tanto, aprender mejor. Para finalizar, los resultados del programa de intervención mostraron que los músicos intérpretes que participaron en el programa aumentaron los niveles del estado de Fluidez y disminuyeron los niveles de Ansiedad Escénica Musical de forma estadísticamente significativa. Ello sugiere que los programas que contemplen en su diseño una combinación de todas las técnicas y métodos que se utilizaron en el programa y que provienen de la Psicología científica podrían ser útiles para tratar la problemática de la Ansiedad Escénica Musical o prevenirla; y, además, podrían facilitar el estado de Fluidez, un mayor disfrute durante la interpretación y potencialmente una mejor calidad interpretativa. Se exponen las limitaciones y se señalan direcciones futuras de investigación. 1 EFRN, 2014: Red Europea de Investigadores de Fluidez (European Flow-Researchers’ Network) 2 Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Beyond boredom and anxiety. Jossey-bass.
... Prompt intervention is needed to help teens ride the pandemic waves, as COVID-19 is likely to affect their lives for the years to come. Programs should be developed to encourage adolescents' openness to experience as a crucial aspect facilitating flow retrieval (Bassi et al., 2014;Ullen, et al., 2012). Creativity and curiosity could help them develop a constructive attitude toward life and seize opportunities for enjoyment and personal growth in available domains. ...
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Research highlighted the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents' emotional well-being worldwide. In the attempt to identify resources which could facilitate adolescents' adjustment , this study examined the occurrence of flow experience and related activities, and the association between flow and emotional well-being among Italian teenagers. In Spring 2021, 150 students (40.7% girls) aged 15-19 completed instruments assessing flow and related activities before and during the pandemic, and current positive and negative affect. Findings revealed that only 24.7% of the participants currently reported flow; over half of those reporting flow before the pandemic did not experience it subsequently, and only 6.5% of those not reporting flow before the pandemic currently experienced it. Participants with flow both before and during the pandemic reported higher positive affect than teens who never experienced flow (p = .011), or lost it (p = .006). No group differences were detected for negative affect. Learning, structured leisure, and interpersonal relations were the domains most frequently associated with flow before and during the pandemic, but after the pandemic onset a reduction in the variety of flow activities and limited identification of new flow domains were observed. The association of flow with higher emotional well-being even in pandemic times suggests the potential usefulness of interventions promoting flow retrieval under adverse circumstances.
... According to Flow theory, there is the concept of "autotelic" personality which suggests that certain personal characteristics may represent a greater disposition to undergo the Flow experience (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). There are studies that have shown that Flow has a negative relationship with neuroticism and a positive relationship with responsibility, but not with intelligence (Ullén et al., 2012). It has also been suggested that people with a high internal locus of control scores may enjoy the activity more when faced with challenges and reach FSs more easily (Keller and Blomann, 2008;Mosing et al., 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Positive Psychology has turned its attention to the study of emotions in a scientific and rigorous way. Particularly, to how emotions influence people’s health, performance, or their overall life satisfaction. Within this trend, Flow theory has established a theoretical framework that helps to promote the Flow experience. Flow state, or optimal experience, is a mental state of high concentration and enjoyment that, due to its characteristics, has been considered desirable for the development of the performing activity of performing musicians. Musicians are a population prone to health problems, both psychological and physical, owing to different stressors of their training and professional activity. One of the most common problems is Musical Performance Anxiety. In this investigation, an electronic intervention program was carried out for the development of psychological self-regulation skills whose main objective was to trigger the Flow response in performing musicians and the coping mechanism for Musical Performance Anxiety. A quasi-experimental design was used with a control group in which pre- and post-measures of Flow State, Musical Performance Anxiety and, also, Social Skills were taken. Sixty-two performing musicians from different music colleges in Spain participated in the program. Results indicated that the intervention significantly improved Flow State (t = –2.41, p = 0.02, d = 0.36), and Sense of Control (t = –2.48, p = 0.02, d = 0.47), and decreased Music Performance Anxiety (t = 2.64, p = 0.01, d = 0.24), and self-consciousness (t = –3.66, p = 0.00, d = 0.70) of the participants in the EG but not CG. The changes in the EG after the program showed the inverse relationship between Flow and Anxiety. Two important theoretical factors of both variables (especially in situations of performance and public exposure), such as worry and the feeling of lack of control, could be involved. The results are under discussion and future lines of research are proposed.
... Flow was examined using a 7-item scale adapted from the Swedish Flow Proneness Questionnaire (SFPQ; Ullén et al., 2012) that pertained to the flow frequency at a work domain. The sample item was "I have a clear picture of what I want to achieve, and what I need to do to get there?" ...
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Authentic leadership is essential for predicting employee resilience. However, despite fruitful findings, more adapted models of authentic leadership – employee resilience based on empirical findings can serve as a guide to understanding the complex mediators and moderators in different industries such as in construction engineering project organizations during the turbulent pandemic. This study, therefore, based on the organizational identification theory and flow theory through the lens of positive organizational psychology, aims to disentangle the authentic leadership—employee resilience association by investigating their underlying mechanism and their boundary condition. To test our hypothetical model, we applied a cross-sectional design with data collected from a large sample of 884 employees from a big enterprise in China. Findings from confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modeling analysis, and Hayes’s conditional process model indicated that: authentic leadership positively predicted employee resilience through the partial mediation effect of organizational identification, and such a mediation model was moderated by the experience of flow. In other words, flow moderated the relationships between authentic leadership, organizational identification, and employee resilience. Findings provide evidence for cultivating leaders’ authenticity in promoting their subordinates’ resilience; findings also highlight the significance of organizational identification in bridging authentic leadership and employee resilience and the essential role of flow experience in supporting the relationships mentioned above.
Article
Öz: Bu çalışmanın amacı Ototelik Kişilik Ölçeği'nin Türkçeye uyarlanarak güvenilirlik ve geçerlilik çalışmasının yapılmasıdır. Çalışma kapsamında ilk etapta ölçeği geliştiren araştırmacılardan izin alınmıştır. Ölçeğin orijinal İngilizce yapısı, alanında tecrübesi bulunan dil uzmanları tarafından Türkçeye çevrilmiştir. Türkçe formuna kavuşturulan ölçek farklı dil uzmanları vasıtasıyla İngilizceye tercüme ettirilmiştir. Oluşan form, ölçeğin orijinal yapısı ile karşılaştırılarak İngilizce ve Türkçe formlar, psikolog ve dil uzmanları tarafından incelenmek suretiyle nihai haline getirilmiştir. Ölçeğin güvenirlik değerlerini test etmek maksadıyla 50 kişiye pilot bir çalışma uygulanmıştır. Ölçeğin istenen değerlere sahip olduğu görüldükten sonra uygulama aşamasına geçilmiştir. 18 yaşından büyük 286 kadın ve 264 erkek toplam 550 gönüllüye uygulanan ölçeğin 7 alt boyuttan oluşan yapısını koruduğu görülmüştür. Ölçeğin faktör yapısını belirlemek maksadıyla yapılan açımlayıcı ve doğrulayıcı faktör analizlerinde uyum değerlerinin yeterli çıktığı ve bu değerlerin ölçeğin orijinal yapısı ile örtüştüğü gözlemlenmiştir. Bireylerin özellikle Akış adı verilen üst düzey yoğunlaşma ve tatmin kanalına girerek icra ettikleri spor ve serbest zaman aktiviteleri neticesinde yaşam doyumuna ulaşmalarında, ototelik kişiliğe sahip bireylerin diğer kişilik türlerine sahip kişilere kıyasla daha avantajlı olduğu görülmektedir. Bu anlamda Akış deneyimine yönelik çalışmalar kapsamında, spor ve serbest zaman alışkanlıklarının tespit edilmesi, serbest zaman faaliyetlerinde Akış boyutunun değerlendirilmesinde APQ uyarlamasının ülkemizde alanda yapılacak çalışmalara fayda sağlayacağı değerlendirilmektedir. Abstract: The purpose of this study is to adapt the Autotelic Personality Questionnaire (APQ) to Turkish, and perform a reliability and validity study. Within the scope of the study, permission was obtained from the researchers who developed the scale. The original English structure of the scale was translated into Turkish by language experts who are experienced in their field. The scale, which was converted to Turkish, was translated into English by different language experts. The resulting form was compared with the original structure of the scale, and the English and Turkish forms were finalized by psychologists and language experts. A pilot study was applied to 50 people in order to test the reliability of the scale. After it was found out that the scale had the aimed values, the application phase started. It was observed that the scale, which was applied to a total of 550 volunteers, 286 females and 264 males over the age of 18, preserved its structure consisting of 7 sub-dimensions. In the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyzes conducted to determine the factor structure of the scale, it was observed that the fit values were sufficient, and these values matched with the original structure of the scale. APQ adaptation is considered to be beneficial for the studies to be conducted in the field in our country, Turkey. It is understood that individuals with an autotelic personality are more advantageous than those with other personality types, especially in reaching life satisfaction as a result of sports and leisure activities that they perform by entering the high-level concentration and satisfaction channel called flow. In this sense, within the scope of studies on flow experience, it is considered that the APQ adaptation will benefit the studies to be carried out in our country in determining the sports and leisure habits and evaluating the flow dimension in leisure activities.
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V monografiji avtorice predstavljajo ugotovitve več raziskav, ki so jih izvedle v zadnjih desetih letih, in jih umestijo na področje pozitivne psihologije, ki se je kot znanstvena disciplina uveljavila po letu 2000. Kot teoretični okvir v prvem poglavju predstavijo raziskave laičnega pojmovanja sreče in teoretične modele subjektivnega blagostanja. Poudarek na znanstveni ustreznosti merskih instrumentov v pozitivni psihologiji je spodbudil interes za konstrukt subjektivnega blagostanja tudi na drugih področjih psihologije.
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This chapter explains the concept of effort on the basis of evidence from experimental and cognitive psychology, demonstrates how it has been used in conducting studies of brain activity, and goes on to examine the individual differences that play a role in determining the efficiency of brain networks associated with effortful control. It also reviews certain educational training methods; those when used among children can change these networks, along with conditional changes developed in adults through meditation training. The findings reveal that meditation helps in producing better attentional performance and the subjective condition related to effort. The chapter also investigates how these training methods play a role in determining the concept of flow.
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The purpose of this study was to examine possible psychological correlates of flow in a sample of older athletes. Both state and trait, or dispositional flow states, were examined. Masters athletes completed questionnaire assessments on two occasions while competing at an international masters sport competition. The participants (398) completed a questionnaire assessing intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, goal orientation, trait anxiety, perceived ability, and typical flow experiences (trait) when participating in sport. Of these participants, 213 completed a questionnaire after and in relation to one event they competed in at the Games. This second questionnaire assessed state flow, as well as perceptions of success, skills, and challenges in a selected sport event. Correlational and multivariate analyses were conducted to examine psychological correlates of state and trait flow. Patterns of relationships were found between flow and perceived ability, anxiety, and an intrinsic motivation variable. Understanding flow and its relationship with other psychological variables are discussed.
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Models of the structure of cognitive abilities suggested by Spearman, Thurstone, Guilford, Vernon and Cattell-Horn are reviewed. It is noted that some of the models include a general intellectual factor (g) while others do not. It is also noted that some models are nonhierarchical, while in others more narrow abilities are subsumed under broader abilities in a hierarchical pattern. An empirical study in which a test battery of 16 tests was administered to some 1000 subjects in the 6th grade is reported. Using the LISREL technique to test different models, good support is obtained for oblique primary factors in the Thurstone tradition as well as for the second-order factors fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, and general visualization hypothesized by Cattell and Horn. It is also found, however, that the second-order factor of fluid intelligence i is identical with a third-order g-factor. On the basis of these results a three-level model (the HILI-model) is suggested, with the g-factor at the top, two broad factors reflecting the ability to deal with verbal and figural information, respectively, at the second-order level, and the primary factors in the Thurstone and Guilford tradition at the lowest level. It is argued that most previously suggested models are special cases of the HILI-model.
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This chapter focuses on the use of effortless attention in performing daily activities and tasks. It details a study developed by The University of Chicago and Claremont Graduate University, and named the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) to collect data from subjects of the study investigating the use of effortless attention in daily life. The findings are based on an ESM study of subjects consisting of middle and high school students from around the United States and the Sloan Study of Youth and Social Development. The Sloan study focuses on investigating both effortful and effortless attention experiences of the subjects. A large number of students reveal how effortless attention has helped them to focus better on several tasks without much effort.
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This chapter drawn attention to the fact that tests and tasks differ systematically in general cognitive ability, g loading, that is, in the degree to which they call forth general intelligence g. This suggests a way to better understand the impact of differences in g in daily life-examine everyday tasks and broad life outcomes for their psychometric properties, including their g loadedness. That is, to address the ways in which life mimics or departs from a standardized intelligence test. The value of six specific questions is illustrated by applying them to the literature on job performance and occupational attainment-what is the distribution, by g loading, of the many subtests one takes in life's extensive mental test battery; to what extent do one takes common vs. different subtests in life; to what extent do the differences in g determine which subtests one takes. Applying the life-as-a-mental-test-battery analogy to the world of work yields predictions about where and why a higher g will be an advantage elsewhere in life. The analogy also explains why even big effects can be hard to discern in the psychometrically messy real world.
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Publisher Summary The dominant paradigm in current personality psychology is a reinvigorated version of one of the oldest approaches, trait psychology. Personality traits are “dimensions of individual differences in tendencies to show consistent patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions.” In this context, trait structure refers to the pattern of co-variation among individual traits, usually expressed as dimensions of personality identified in factor analyses. For decades, the field of personality psychology was characterized by competing systems of trait structure; more recently a consensus has developed that most traits can be understood in terms of the dimensions of the Five-Factor Model. The consensus on personality trait structure is not paralleled by consensus on the structure of affects. The chapter discusses a three-dimensional model, defined by pleasure, arousal, and dominance factors in which it is possible to classify such state-descriptive terms as mighty, fascinated, unperturbed, docile, insolent, aghast, uncaring, and bored. More common are two-dimensional systems with axes of pleasure and arousal or positive and negative affect. These two schemes are interpreted as rotational variants—positive affect is midway between pleasure and arousal, whereas negative affect lies between arousal and low pleasure.