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The construction of meaning through vital engagement

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... Entering the flow zone 'sweet spot' is contingent on striking the balance between perceived challenges and perceived capacities, yet we spend a bulk of our free time in passive experiences that waste the opportunity to employ our skills and create the flow-like experiences that deliver a sense of satisfaction and control (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Only 16% of Americans surveyed reported being swept up in intense flow-like experiences daily, while 42% admitted they rarely or never lose track of time while being engaged in an intensely involved activity (Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). An application of the character strength of zest, characterized by its energy that is both vigorous and in control (Peterson & Seligman, 2004), is useful in creating the right balance between challenge and skill in our free time to stave off boredom. ...
... Flow-the aforementioned state of interested absorption in an activity (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990)-can exist in the absence of meaning (like when playing an engrossing word game), but when perceived significance and flow theory combine forces, we're poised to experience vital engagement (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). We know that meaning can emerge as a result of "push" experiences (memento mori ah-ha's, the death of someone close to us, minor and major traumas; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004), and yet there is also a "pull" model for the genesis of meaning that accounts for the enjoyable absorption of flow (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). ...
... Flow-the aforementioned state of interested absorption in an activity (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990)-can exist in the absence of meaning (like when playing an engrossing word game), but when perceived significance and flow theory combine forces, we're poised to experience vital engagement (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). We know that meaning can emerge as a result of "push" experiences (memento mori ah-ha's, the death of someone close to us, minor and major traumas; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004), and yet there is also a "pull" model for the genesis of meaning that accounts for the enjoyable absorption of flow (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). These researchers (2003) posit that the act of keenly exploring the world is the very thing that motivates us to keep coming back for even more flow-like experiences, and that long-term engagement in flow activities sows the seeds for meaning to then take root and bloom. ...
Article
The practice of memento mori– acting on the Latin phrase that translates to “remember we must die,” has the profound potential to wake us up and breathe more life into our lives. While focusing on the end of our days may sound more morbid than meaningful, the contemplation of death allows us to appreciate the scarcity of the very time we’re looking to make the most of. In a world consumed with expanding the length of our lives, cultivating a more intimate familiarity with death can help us expand the metaphoric width and depth of our lives as well. We make our lives wider when we fill them with vitality and gusto– expanding the breadth of the pleasurable experiences that life has to offer while blasting us out of our autopilot tendencies. We make our lives deeper when we infuse them with meaning and purpose– elevating ourselves out of empty or mundane existences into lives that feel like they matter. This capstone explores how the field of positive psychology, with its dialectical appreciation of the positive and negative phenomena in life, is uniquely poised to explore the traditionally taboo topic of death. With the heft of all its theory, research, and practice, existential positive psychology encourages us to courageously confront death to live with more meaning and vitality... to pursue lives truly worth living.
... In Csikszentmihalyi's flow theory, meaning is also defined phenomenologically, in terms of subjective experience related to a certain activity or object. However, Csikszentmihalyi and Nakamura emphasize the emergent nature of meaning: " as a person is drawn onward by enjoyable interaction with an object, the meaning of the relationship gradually deepens " (Csikszentmihalyi & Nakamura, 2003, p. 95). They associate this phenomenon with a specific form of subjective meaning, " the felt significance of an enjoyed relationship to a domain " (p. ...
... 98). In order for a flow activity to become a " vital engagement " (the basis of a lifetime career, a calling), the activity needs to be meaningful, and its meaning for an individual is enriched by a community of people who practice it (Csikszentmihalyi & Nakamura, 2003). Frankl (1992) emphasizes that pleasure is only a byproduct of the pursuit of meaning, rather than its motivating power, and fulfilling life is achieved by following the direction of meaning, even if this process involves effort and suffering. ...
... Frankl (1992) emphasizes that pleasure is only a byproduct of the pursuit of meaning, rather than its motivating power, and fulfilling life is achieved by following the direction of meaning, even if this process involves effort and suffering. Csikszentmihalyi & Nakamura (2003) believe that lifetime engagement is fostered by a coincidence of enjoyment and meaning in the same flow activity, which, even though it takes effort, is experienced as effortless. Frankl's view, however, does not conflict with that of flow theory, given the different historical context of these two theories: " meaning is available in spite of — nay, even through — suffering, provided … that the suffering is unavoidable. ...
Article
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We review the psychological theory of flow and focus on the notion of the autotelic personality , arguing that self-transcendence (understood within the existential tradition of Frankl and Längle as the individual's ability to establish inner relationships with values) can be viewed as a personality disposition conducive to flow experience. The study aimed to investigate the effects of situational task meaning and dispositional self-transcendence on productivity and flow experience. We present a pilot quasi-experimental study conducted in a student sample (N = 82) Students were asked to work in small-group settings on a creative task, which consisted in finding solutions to a social problem. Each group was randomly assigned to an instruction presenting the problem as happening either in a distant country (low-meaning) or in their home country (high-meaning condition). The outcome variables were measures of flow, perceived meaning of the task, and satisfaction with time spent working. The solutions generated by the students were rated by three experts. The experimental manipulation had a main effect on the quality of the resulting solutions, but not on the subjective experience of the participants. A number of significant interaction effects were found, indicating that the associations of self-transcendence with experiential outcomes tended to be linear under the low-meaning condition, but curvilinear under the high-meaning condition. The findings suggest that self-transcen-dence is particularly beneficial to flow in situations with unclear meaning, but very high levels of self-transcendence may hinder flow in highly meaningful situations. Overall, the findings suggest that self-transcendence can be considered as a disposition of the autotelic personality.
... Since participation is on a voluntary basis, crowd workers can choose the logistics task(s) they wish to perform [9,48]. When the difficulty of the task matches one's ability, the crowd worker can complete the task with confidence and enjoy the process [49]. Other jobs (e.g., full-time, part-time and independent short-term contracts) may not be as flexible and autonomous as crowd logistics. ...
... (1) The enjoyment of the previous job has a significant negative impact on the willingness to continue participating in crowd logistics. This is consistent with previous research by Mladenow et al. [9], Liang et al. [37], and Nakamura and Csikzentmihalyi [49]. Crowd logistics workers can freely choose the delivery task and working time [18,35], and engage with different customers. ...
Article
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With crowd logistics becoming a crucial part of the last-mile delivery challenge in many cities, continued participation of crowd workers has become an essential issue affecting the growth of the crowd logistics platform. Understanding how people are motivated to continue their participation in crowd logistics can provide some clarity as to what policies and measures should be undertaken by the industry to support its further growth. Using the Push–Pull–Mooring (PPM) theory, we developed a research model to explain the factors influencing crowd workers’ participative behavior. Survey data from 455 crowd workers were analyzed using SmartPLS3.0 software. The results show monetary rewards and trust have a significant positive impact on the willingness of crowd workers to continue participating in crowd logistics, while work enjoyment from previous work and entry barriers for work have a significant negative impact. Trust plays an intermediary role between monetary incentives and crowd workers’ willingness to continue participating. Based on the findings of this study, we recommend that crowd logistics platforms should offer reasonable monetary incentives and keep these under constant review, build a high degree of trust and cooperation with their crowd workers, and initiate activities geared towards promoting satisfaction at work.
... Instead of learning about Amsterdam through the game, their game performance improved because of flow (Admiraal, Huizenga, Akkerman, and Ten Dam, 2011). The Admirral et al. study suggests that factual learning outcomes do not result from flow, rejecting long-term learning outcomes suggested by Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi (2003) Other studies agree with Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi (2003), suggesting that flow states do enhance academic learning outcomes (Hamari, Shernoff, Rowe, Coller, Asbell-Clarke, and Edwards, 2016). Despite the numerous studies that have investigated flow, it appears that most of them seek to measure performance or academic learning outcomes. ...
... Instead of learning about Amsterdam through the game, their game performance improved because of flow (Admiraal, Huizenga, Akkerman, and Ten Dam, 2011). The Admirral et al. study suggests that factual learning outcomes do not result from flow, rejecting long-term learning outcomes suggested by Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi (2003) Other studies agree with Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi (2003), suggesting that flow states do enhance academic learning outcomes (Hamari, Shernoff, Rowe, Coller, Asbell-Clarke, and Edwards, 2016). Despite the numerous studies that have investigated flow, it appears that most of them seek to measure performance or academic learning outcomes. ...
Thesis
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This research developed a novel synthesis of four theories using connections discovered through a literature-review: this synthesis was called the Modulated Liminoid Group Learning Synthesis (MLGLS). A mixed-method exploratory experiment was developed to collect and analyse participants’ experience in problem-solving teams in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. This study found that problem-solving groups experienced a cyclic process of group development, personal investment, and liminoid or flow-related engrossment within liminoid communitas. This cyclic process occurred while the group worked together to develop enough understanding of an activity to solve it. After this group process, a direct debrief produced transferrable relational learning during a postliminoid state. This study confirmed the occurrence of Liminoid Group Learning processes. The findings of this study concluded that participants in problem-solving groups build temporary communities that result in powerful relational learning. The development of these temporary communities allowed participants to reflect on how they wanted their current group to function, developing their conclusions about how future groups should operate. Participants’ reflective conclusions about current and future groups, called relational learning, is a powerful learning outcome for practitioners to employ because it provides a framework for producing inter-relational growth. Another finding of this research underscores the importance for participants to personally invest themselves in group activities because it jump-starts a group’s development. Personally investing in a group activity is a critical aspect that leads to a group’s formation, ability to solve a problem, and resultant relational learning. The findings of this study provide applicational tools for both the group dynamics facilitator as well as the group participant that produce improved relational abilities in future group dynamics scenarios.
... Such accomplishments are clear exemplars of creative productivity, although they characterize only a very small segment of the population. Indeed, as articulated in the work of Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi (2003), creators of scientific milestones and works of art often find meaning throughout life, in continuing their "vital engagement" in creative activities that offer them fulfillment. These authors propose a systems model of creativity that is adapted to late life, emphasizing both the social influences that are key to recognition of eminent creativity and the personal joy that characterizes and motivates eminent creators to pursue their productive efforts well into late life. ...
... He found in his earlier work (Simonton, 1989) persistence of creative production among great composers, who often produced masterworks very late in their lives and refers to this as the "swansong" phenomenon. Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi (2003) offer insights about the domainspecific opportunities and barriers to continued creative contributions in late life. They propose a system model of creativity that is based on three components: the person, the domain, and the field. ...
Chapter
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The focus of this chapter is on diverse forms of creative expression in old age using a life-course framework. We consider age-related changes in opportunities for and expressions of creativity. Social and environmental influences on late-life creative expression are explored. We link our understanding of late-life creativity to traditional aspects of creativity studies, including creative potential, eminent creativity, and everyday creativity. Consistent with our life-course orientation, we consider age-related changes and differences in the above forms of creativity. We review creativity-enhancing interventions in relation to everyday creativity. A major contribution of our work relates to focus on the use of proactive problem-solving strategies to address late-life challenges creatively. Novel solutions to normative stressors of aging pose exemplars of the value of late-life creativity. Creative problem solving is proposed as key to ensuring a meaningful and successful old age. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/abs/cambridge-handbook-of-lifespan-development-of-creativity/many-faces-of-creativity-in-old-age/A3B29E40B28D02C4B6E90F07C453BFBE#
... Therefore, the overarching question of this research is to explore the role of passion and goals in predicting marketing-related behavioural outcomes.towards goal achievement, intrinsic desires instead entail in an activity becoming worth doing for its own sake (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi 2002) and desired as an end in itself (Davis 1984). This suggests that two forms of desires exist. ...
... First, passion is defined as a strong inclination towards an activity that people like, invest time and energy in, to which they consider important (Vallerand et al. 2003; Baum and Locke 2004). Second, passion is associated with flow and intrinsic motivation, given highly passionate people's absorption at meaningful and important activities (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi 2002) and their autonomous internalisation and engagement in activities out of pleasure and enjoyment (Mageau et al. 2009; Vallerand 2008). However, passion's strong inclination and enduring identification towards an activity differentiates itself from flow and intrinsic motivation which are viewed respectively as a consequence of passion and stemming from the person-task interaction at a short-term level (Vallerand et al. 2007; Deci and Ryan 1985). ...
Article
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The concept of passion is incorporated into the Model of Goal-directed Behavior to provide an intrinsic expression of desires. The results indicated that passion is a distinct construct. The model with passion explained substantially more variance in classical music attendees' word-of-mouth behaviour than one without (27.6% to 62.9% respectively).
... Therefore, the overarching question of this research is to explore the role of passion and goals in predicting marketing-related behavioural outcomes.towards goal achievement, intrinsic desires instead entail in an activity becoming worth doing for its own sake (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi 2002) and desired as an end in itself (Davis 1984). This suggests that two forms of desires exist. ...
... First, passion is defined as a strong inclination towards an activity that people like, invest time and energy in, to which they consider important (Vallerand et al. 2003; Baum and Locke 2004). Second, passion is associated with flow and intrinsic motivation, given highly passionate people's absorption at meaningful and important activities (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi 2002) and their autonomous internalisation and engagement in activities out of pleasure and enjoyment (Mageau et al. 2009; Vallerand 2008). However, passion's strong inclination and enduring identification towards an activity differentiates itself from flow and intrinsic motivation which are viewed respectively as a consequence of passion and stemming from the person-task interaction at a short-term level (Vallerand et al. 2007; Deci and Ryan 1985). ...
... While there are individual differences in how meaningful work is defined, common attributes include: work provides the opportunity to reach one's full potential; contributes to one's ability to leave a legacy, fulfill one's life purpose; is congruent with one's values and goals; fulfills the need for personal accomplishment; and facilitates fully one's ability to actualize their potential (Baumeister, 1991;Emmons, 1999;Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2003;Ryan & Deci, 2000;Ryff & Keyes, 1995). Rosso, Dekas, and Wrzesniewski (2010) offered an integrative model that delineates four major pathways to finding meaningful work. ...
... Flow experiences are one of the markers of a life lived well and therefore will be discussed further. provides a gateway to meaning, enjoyment, and positive and productive functioning (Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). These states are best described by the following eight characteristics: 1) complete concentration on the task, 2) clarity of goals and immediate feedback, 3) transformation of time, 4) intrinsically motivating experience, 5) a felt sense of effortless and ease, 6) balance between challenge and skill level or strength, 7) loss of selfconsciousness and merging of action and awareness, and 8) a feeling of control over the task at hand (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). ...
Article
Eating disorders are bio-psycho-social diseases that affect nearly twenty million women and ten million men in America (National Eating Disorder Association, 2018). They are serious but treatable illnesses that develop when a genetic predisposition is paired with an environmental activation. Out of all mental illnesses, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate, with one person dying as a direct result of an eating disorder every 62 minutes (Smink, Van Hoeken, & Hoek, 2012). Eating disorders adversely affect every aspect of human life, including physical and mental health, intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships, professional pursuits, sense of meaning and purpose, and overall well-being. Existing treatment methods provide opportunities for individuals with eating disorders to interrupt and reduce symptoms. Relapse during and soon after treatment, however, is extremely common. The field of eating disorders has not yet pivoted to address what patients need to sustain recovery and thrive. Positive psychology’s theory, research, and interventions present a supplemental treatment approach for practitioners to implement to revive the recovery process to increase the success for those struggling with eating disorders. Positive psychology can operate to empower and motivate patients, reconnecting them to their meaning and purpose outside of the illness. This paper discusses eating disorders in-depth, recognizes and applauds traditional treatment methods, and proposes how enhancing positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment can further promote recovery.
... Initially, simple linear regressions were developed to evaluate the role of the MIL construct in PWB and QOL indicators. The results found are in line with international literature, which highlights the role of MIL as an important indicator of positive psychological functioning (Ho et al., 2010;Nakamura & Csikzentmihalyi, 2003), and as an important variable for a satisfactory life (Scollon & King, 2004;Steger, Oishi, & Kesebir, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
O presente estudo objetivou avaliar os índices de sentido de vida (SV), de bem-estar psicológico (BEP) e de qualidade de vida (QV) em uma ampla amostra de professores escolares, e observar como o SV poderia atuar como variável moderadora da relação entre o BEP e a QV geral. Participaram do estudo 517 professores, de 57 escolas públicas e privadas da cidade de Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brasil, sendo 174 homens e 343 mulheres (idade média de 36,5 anos, DP = 10,34). Os resultados demonstraram que uma parcela significativa de profissionais apresentou índices negativos de SV, BEP e QV. Análises inferenciais apresentaram o SV como uma variável preditora tanto de BEP quanto de QV. Análises de moderação demonstraram que o BEP e a QV geral apresentam correlações distintas para sujeitos com alto e com baixo nível de SV. Reflexões para pesquisas futuras e intervenções em saúde do trabalhador são apontadas.
... Gamification refers to the application of game mechanics and game thinking in non-gaming contexts (Hamari, Koivisto, & Sarsa, 2014). Studies have shown that individuals are more likely to engage with activities that are enjoyable and fun for them (Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). Drawing on this, the premise of gamification is that blending learning experiences with game elements would lead to increased motivation, task engagement and performance outcomes in a learning activity. ...
Article
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Gamification has become a popular approach to blending learning with fun and enjoyable experiences. However, gamification research has been criticized for mostly focusing on game mechanics and related outcomes while paying little attention to the psychological processes that mediate the relationship between these mechanics and outcomes. Furthermore, the majority of existing gamification studies have focused on competitive game features. Thus, the full potential of cooperative gamification has yet to be explored. Given this background, the current study compared how gamified cooperation and competition impact task effort, learning achievement, motivation and social relatedness in English vocabulary learning with a mobile application. The study utilized Social Interdependence Theory to explicate the psychological processes in gamified cooperation and competition. 75 participants were randomly assigned to either the gamified cooperation or the gamified competition condition and studied English vocabulary for 14 days. No difference was observed between the conditions regarding task effort, learning achievement and motivation. However, social relatedness in the gamified cooperation group was significantly higher than in the gamified competition group. The current findings emphasize that the positive influence of gamified cooperation on creating meaningful connections amongst learners should not be ignored, even though it facilitates similar learning and motivational outcomes as gamified competition.
... When an individual experiences this optimal state, the self is expressive, alive and vital, filled with energy, and according to Csikszentmihalyi (1993, p. 237), "Every flow experience contributes to the growth of the self." This growth of the self is reflected in the development of vital engagement, as both enjoyment and meaning emerge from the energy or felt connection between self and world (Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). As this expressive self actively begins to both differentiate and integrate (becomes more complex) through flow, meaning unfolds naturally or intrinsically. ...
Article
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The purpose of this article is to explore the expressive aspects of the self. Three main assumptions underlying our notion of the expressive self are it is innate, experiential, and holistic. The expressive self is by nature a dynamic inner imperative that both creates and uses energy. Our primary focus is to propose and explain four innate central tendencies of the expressive self: eudaimonia, self-determination, flow, and biophilia. We first describe the essence of each of these innate potentialities with an overview of how they interrelate to form a coherent expressive self. Then, we delve into how our present cultural system (market society) is thwarting the development of this naturally expressive self that is longing for release. This thwarting process of the expressive self has led to the emergence of a restrictive self with myriad negative physical, psychological, social, and behavioral health and well-being consequences. We conclude with research possibilities and ideas for future exploration of the expressive self.
... Employees may actively change the design of their jobs by choosing tasks, negotiating different job content, and assigning meaning to their tasks or jobs (in Parker & Ohly, 2008;Bakker & Leiter, 2010, p. 190). These suggestions were based on Nakamura & Csikzentmihalyi's (2003) claims that sense of meaning in work is facilitated when individual interact with the community of practice and social field. According to the definition for meaning in work, this study follows the first group of scholars and argues that creating meaning in work by transformational leaders influence the relationship with engagement. ...
Article
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The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model to examine whether the direct and indirect relationship between transformational leadership, meaningful work, work engagement, job satisfaction and intention quit exist. To achieve the aim, a review of the literature on transformational leadership and meaning in work and theorizes their relationship with employees work engagement is proposed. The underlying argument of this paper is that transformational leadership impact job satisfaction and intention to quit indirectly through the relationship between meaning in work and work engagement. This paper responds to the gaps in the literature (Zhu et al., 2009; Yukl, 1999; Avolio et al., 2004; Piccolo & Colquitt, 2006) by developing a conceptual model proposing that transformational leadership relate to job satisfaction and intention to quit through a proposed indirect process, one that is based on employees’ perceptions toward themselves (engagement) and their jobs (meaning in work). This paper proposes a novel model as no research to date has proposed conceptual arguments integrating the indirect paths between transformational leadership to work related outcomes (i.e. job satisfaction and intention to quit) through meaning in work and work engagement. This manuscript recommends future research to empirically test the hypothesised model one different samples and to check it’s robustness. Keywords: transformational leadership, meaning in work, employee engagement, work related outcomes, conceptual model.
... Initially, simple linear regressions were developed to evaluate the role of the MIL construct in PWB and QOL indicators. The results found are in line with international literature, which highlights the role of MIL as an important indicator of positive psychological functioning (Ho et al., 2010;Nakamura & Csikzentmihalyi, 2003), and as an important variable for a satisfactory life (Scollon & King, 2004;Steger, Oishi, & Kesebir, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
O presente estudo objetivou avaliar os índices de sentido de vida (SV), de bem-estar psicológico (BEP) e de qualidade de vida (QV) em uma ampla amostra de professores escolares, e observar como o SV poderia atuar como variável moderadora da relação entre o BEP e a QV geral. Participaram do estudo 517 professores, de 57 escolas públicas e privadas da cidade de Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brasil, sendo 174 homens e 343 mulheres (idade média de 36,5 anos, DP = 10,34). Os resultados demonstraram que uma parcela significativa de profissionais apresentou índices negativos de SV, BEP e QV. Análises inferenciais apresentaram o SV como uma variável preditora tanto de BEP quanto de QV. Análises de moderação demonstraram que o BEP e a QV geral apresentam correlações distintas para sujeitos com alto e com baixo nível de SV. Reflexões para pesquisas futuras e intervenções em saúde do trabalhador são apontadas.
... This instrument measures a set of attitudes and behaviors that include positive reframing of adversity, maintaining hope, existential courage, life appreciation, engagement in meaningful activities, and prosociality (see Eisenbeck et al., unpublished). Elements of this conceptualization of meaning-centered coping are well-studied, show strong relationships with both higher levels of well-being and decreased psychological distress (e.g., Nakamura and Csikzentmihalyi, 2003;Feldman and Snyder, 2005;Schueller and Seligman, 2010;Kleiman et al., 2013;Maddi, 2013;Van Tongeren et al., 2016;Klein, 2017;Jans-Beken and Wong, 2019) and are incorporated in the theory of PP2.0. ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has subjected most of the world’s population to unprecedented situations, like national lockdowns, health hazards, social isolation and economic harm. Such a scenario calls for urgent measures not only to palliate it but also, to better cope with it. According to existential positive psychology, well-being does not simply represent a lack of stress and negative emotions but highlights their importance by incorporating an adaptive relationship with them. Thus, suffering can be mitigated (and transformed into growth) by, among other factors, adopting an attitude of positive reframing, maintaining hope, existential courage, life appreciation, engagement in meaningful activities, and prosociality. The conglomerate of these elements has been recently denominated as meaning-centered coping. In this study, we evaluated the protective role of this type of coping on mental health. A sample of 12,243 participants from 30 countries across all continents completed measures of Meaning-Centered Coping Scale (MCCS), depression, stress, anxiety and stressful COVID-19 related conditions they experienced. Results indicated that meaning-centered coping was strongly associated with diminished symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Moreover, it moderated various relationships between vulnerability factors and markers of psychological distress, especially in the case of depression. These findings call for attention to meaning-centered coping approaches in the context of hardship, such as the current COVID-19 health crisis. In these difficult times, decision-makers and health organizations may integrate these approaches into their guidelines.
... Self-determination theorists maintain that even optimal challenges will not bring about intrinsic motivation or flow unless people experience their actions as being autonomously generated. Flow theorists (Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2003) on the other hand, suggest that inherently satisfying activities that are freely chosen and meaningful to an individual, allowing vital engagement, are a result of flow. We posit that the initial period of object-person interaction in vital engagement is characteristic of activities in the flow channel. ...
Article
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Flow theory postulates that the psychological state of flow emerging when one engages in activities where skill level and challenge are both high, results in ‘optimal’ subjective experiences relative to other psychological states, and is intrinsically motivated. The experience sampling method was used on a sample of college students to compare daily activities associated with flow (high skill, high challenge) to the psychological state of control (high skill, moderate challenge) in relation to the subjective experiences of enjoyment, happiness, intrinsic motivation, and cognitive involvement. Contrary to flow theory, enjoyment, happiness, and intrinsic motivation were characteristic of activities associated with being in ‘control,’ as opposed to flow. Flow activities were associated with being cognitively involved in the task at hand. We believe such theoretically important findings have been masked when using the original four-channel model of flow, but are clarified with use of the revised experience fluctuation model.
Article
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Academic procrastination is common among students and is due to various reasons. One of the reasons can be difficulty level of the task. To involve in the task and experience a deep sense of enjoyment, there should be balance between students’ skills and task challenges which is a characteristic of flow. The present study aimed to find out the moderating role of Hardiness and Self-efficacy in the relationship between Flow and Academic Procrastination on Academic Performance. For that 170 undergraduate students were taken from different streams using stratified random sampling method. Procrastination Scale, Dispositional Flow Scale, Hardiness Scale and Self-efficacy scales were used to measure the proposed variable in the model. Results showed a significant negative relation between academic performance and procrastination and a positive relation between Academic Performance, flow, and Self-efficacy. However, there seems no significant relationship between academic performance and hardiness. Structural equation modeling results reveal that procrastination has a significant direct effect on performance and that self-efficacy plays a moderating role in the relationship between flow and procrastination on academic performance, whereas hardiness is non-significant. Hence, it can be concluded from the SEM analysis result that model can be partially accepted. The implications of the study suggest designing the syllabus to match the abilities of all the students, training to elude procrastination and to increase a student’s level of self-efficacy.
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The following account tells the story of a small funding grant that launched a university-based arts project in which 40 university student volunteers designed and painted 68 concrete panels on the theme of globalisation, over a 2-year period. In the weekly project sessions, held in an underground theatre dressing-room, a community formed which embodied many of the qualities described by Lave and Wenger (Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991) as characteristic of a Community of Practice (CoP). Most notably, this project came to be one in which the participants, “share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Lave and Wenger, Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation, p. 1, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991). Initiating a voluntary, meagrely funded arts project in a university where time is short for everyone was a risky proposition, but I felt it was important to offer an opportunity to students to counter-balance the cognitively focused nature of university study. I wanted to know how Gen Y students felt about the globalised world. Also, knowing that university student life can be marked by loneliness and isolation (Sawir et al. in J Stud Int Educ 12(2):148–180, 2008), I was curious to find out whether a communal arts experience might lead to greater levels of well-being. The project participants were not fine arts students, and most had not painted ‘since kindergarten’. Nevertheless, they showed willingness, and even passion, to translate their feelings about globalisation into sketches and then into metre-long painted panels for public display. This commitment to the project endured, week after week, for 2 years, even through wintery nights and exam periods. It was at odds with some of the literature on university student engagement, which argues that contemporary Gen Y university students are pragmatically focused on gaining their qualifications and hence do not involve themselves in campus life (Levy and Campbell 2008). What kept the participants returning to the mural space? I pondered this question at many points during the 2-year project. It seemed evident that they enjoyed being there, and this was affirmed regularly in their weekly mural journals and in the project sessions. Csikszentmihalyi argued that creative acts are linked to a sense of well-being and happiness in humans (Csikszentmihalyi, The Futurist 31(5): 8–12, 1997); when this is combined with a sense of meaning, it becomes what he calls, “vital engagement”, or “a relationship to the world that is characterized both by experiences of flow (enjoyed absorption) and by meaning (subjective significance)” (Nakamura and Csikzentmihalyi 2002, p. 87). The mural participants seemed to invest a strong sense of meaning in their mural panels; they took great care in painting the images and often spent sustained periods of time in concentrated silence as they worked. Their regular attendance at the mural sessions, and also their intensity in approaching the task suggested that intrinsic motivation played a role in maintaining participants’ interest levels in the project. On the other hand, the collaborative nature of the project seemed to generate its own level of enjoyment and intrinsic motivation. In the mural space there was frequent laughter, appreciative commentary on each other’s designs, and often the sense of initial weariness transforming into focused energy in the design and painting process. It seemed that the social practice embodied in this project was also a generator of well-being for the participants. Indeed, through an “enabling, confirming and supportive process… that foster[ed] interpersonal development” (Rendon 1994, p. 44, cited in Penn-Edwards and Donnison Int J First Year High Educ 5(1): 31–41, 2014), the participants formed a cohesive learning community as they worked through the design and implementation stages of the process: creating images for their panels, rendering the images and learning how to mix and apply paint. In common with most university students, it was clear that the mural group participants already negotiated many roles in their daily lives, and had been, “socialised into multiple, overlapping communities of practice” (Morton Linguist Educ 23(1):100–111, 2012, p. 109). Nevertheless, the mural project allowed them not only to form friendships and a distinct learning community, but also to cross boundaries and gain new expertise in areas that were often remote from their disciplinary studies. In this chapter I argue that this community of practice, based around a creative arts project in an academic environment, enabled the participants to connect with each other and with their creative potentialities, with visual design and with a social form of learning that enriched their university experience.
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When we really feel unwell, we should seek the advice of a good and scientifically trained doctor. The doctor will examine us, and, if suspicious of a serious illness, we will be requested to undergo various examinations. The tests may finally tell that we have cancer. What to do next? This may seem a silly question, but today in many societies the patient does have choices and the patient’s life rests on what he or she does with this right to choose. What the individual finally decides to do will be his or her prerogative, but we should hope for a well-informed decision. In this decision-making process it is always possible to make mistakes. The problem with cancer is that by the time the patient realises that he/she got it wrong it may be too late. This was the case of Steve Jobs, the founder of the computer company Apple, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but decided to delay conventional therapy in order to pursue other kinds of therapies such as acupuncture, herbal therapy, diet therapy and spiritual exercises. After 9 months of exclusive non-conventional therapies he decided to undergo chemotherapy and surgery, but it was too late. Does Job’s story prove that complementary psychological therapies (CPTs), such as spiritual exercises and meditation, are therefore useless? Not really. In fact, CPTs do have an important role to play in the overall plan to tackle the challenges of cancer, but such a role should be seen as synergistic with that of conventional therapies (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy), especially when a cancer has been already diagnosed. In addition, CPTs can be useful in the prevention of cancer by decreasing the levels of stress, apart from their use as adjuvant therapies throughout the period of conventional treatment. During remission, CPTs may provide some aid in preventing cancer recurrence or at least help individuals to be mentally better prepared to absorb the shock of recurrence of cancer if it does happen.
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Flow-enjoyed and fully absorbed engagement in meaningful and contextually bounded activities-is widely underutilised in psychotherapy and mental health settings. Two gold standard therapies, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), while powerful and effective in many ways, would benefit from systematic models that move from initiating positive change to sustaining meaningful change. This chapter introduces 'Values-Flow'-an approach aimed at building commitment and sustainable engagement in psychotherapy and values-based behaviour in working adults struggling with sub-optimal functioning. We first introduce Values-Flow and describe how it may benefit psychotherapy skills practice in everyday life. Next, we discuss why Values-Flow is relevant and enhances the practice of ACT and DBT strategies, helping to sustain engagement and creative practice of values-based actions outside of sessions. We then describe the 'Values-Flow' framework, which incorporates VIVA (Virtue, Involve, Vital, Accepting) and ARIA (Attend, Reflect, Inform, Act) tools that develop commitment for values-based practice in daily life. We conclude with a case-example of how Values-Flow can build commitment and sustainable engagement in homework completion in psychotherapy.
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The popularity of Open Source Software (OSS) in developing countries is quiet evident from its widespread adoption across government departments and public sector organizations. The use of OSS saves economic resources of cash starved countries, provides an opportunity to promote e-government, and to utilize their resources in other sectors. Many developing countries have a large pool of skilled developers who can modify the source code of the OSS at a very low cost. Many governments in developing and developed countries have switched to OSS which probably encourages others to follow the trend. It was not possible to follow the adoption trend in all the developing countries but the usage of OSS in countries like India, Brazil, and Venezuela provides us an insight. The successful adoption of OSS requires thorough analysis of its advantages as well as the issues associated with it. This chapter will provide an overview of OSS, characteristics of OSS developers, and their motivation to volunteer by contributing in OSS projects, followed by the advantages and issues associated with OSS.
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Well-being, a condition of positive physical, social and mental state of life, has become a prime focus of research in recent years as people seek to achieve and sustain it. Interacting with the natural environment has been established as a way of acquiring well-being benefits. However, the extent to which well-being depends on various aspects of the environment particularly biodiversity has received less attention. This paper examines the relationship between the level of biodiversity in an environment and human well-being. The depression and happiness scale was employed to sample 236 visitors of eight green spaces in Anglesey and Gwynedd, North Wales, while also noting socio-demographic and environmental factors such as perceived naturalness, density of visitors and noise level to establish the relationship. In each green space, the levels of native and introduced plant diversity were estimated. The paper established that level of ecological diversity determines level of people’s wellness and happiness derived from a green environment. Visitors to green spaces with higher plant diversity receive higher levels of happiness. Significantly too, diversity of introduced species was a better predictor than native plant diversity. Perceived naturalness, density of visitors and visitors’ age was also predictors of happiness. It is concluded that increasing the level of biodiversity in an environment could improve people’s well-being. However, the finding about introduced versus native species deserves more attention.
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We review the psychological theory of flow and focus on the notion of autotelic personality, arguing that self-transcendence understood within the existential tradition of Frankl and Langle can be seen as a personality disposition that is conducive to flow experience. We present a pilot quasi-experimental study conducted in a student sample (N=84) to investigate the effect of situational meaning and self-transcendence on productivity and flow experience. Students were asked to work on a creative task (which consisted in finding solutions to a social problem) in small groups. Each group was randomly assigned with an instruction presenting the problem as happening either in a distant country (low-meaning) or home country (high-meaning). The outcome variables were measures of flow, perceived meaning, and satisfaction with time. The solutions generated by students were rated by 3 experts. The results showed that the experimental manipulation had an effect on the quality of the resulting solutions, but not on the subjective experience of participants. Self-transcendent individuals tended to experience higher flow under both conditions, however, under the high-meaning condition self-transcendence exhibited a curvilinear association with the experiential outcomes. The findings suggest that self-transcendence can be considered as a candidate trait for autotelic personality and call for more replication studies
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Abstract This study, undertaken at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine, tested whether an eight-week course designed to teach older adults how to use the Internet reduced computer anxiety and increased self-reported computer efficacy. Measures of computer anxiety and self-reported efficacy were taken at the start and finish of the course for both older adults and their traditional college-age mentors. The results suggest that comput- er anxiety was reduced in the older learner while it remained unaffected among their college- age mentors. Self-reported efficacy increased in the older adult for Internet-related computer skills but not for other computer skills and remained unchanged for the college mentors.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a rich and textured narrative that utilises scholarly evidence, empirical research, and practitioner knowledge to shape, inform, and extend understanding of the leadership practice of “excelling at work” as it is enacted for zeitgeist organisational challenges. Design/methodology/approach – In order to achieve this, it traverses a temporal timeline from circa 350 BC to the present millennium, to examine extant theories and concepts and emerging wisdom at the intersection of domains as seemingly diverse as neuroscience, cognitive and social psychology, contemplative practice, positive psychology, and organisational behaviour and leadership. Findings – Complex environments require individual and collective agency for efficacious and adaptive responses. Extant theories and new insights on effectance, meaningful work, signature strengths, purposeful attention, self-control, deliberate practice, grit, explanatory styles, and mindsets amongst others, interconnect and at times intersect to form an empirically validated narrative on the augmented leadership practice of excelling at work in challenging times. Originality/value – Overcoming zeitgeist challenges adaptively, requires organisations and their people to excel at work. Innovative combinations and connections of key constructs and concepts, underpinned by empirical evidence from a variety of disciplines, explicate the nature and enactments of this vital leadership practice of excelling at work.
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This book provides the first comprehensive collection of topics that lie within the intersection of positive psychology and multicultural issues. Written by leaders in the field and using a broad definition of culture (including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic or social class status, disability status, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, and gender), this book reviews relevant research, theory, and suggestions for practice and highlights the importance of considering context within a strengths-based framework. Beginning with a history of the intersection of multiculturalism and positive psychology and issues related to measurement and methodology, the volume proceeds to specific examples of current research in multiple areas of cultural identity. Finally, domains (e.g., school, work, psychotherapy) in which the findings of this work can be applied are described, as are directions for future theory and research in this area. This volume is aimed at students, scholars, and practitioners across several fields including multicultural psychology, positive psychology, counseling and clinical psychology, school psychology, social psychology, as well as marriage and family counseling, and social work. It will serve as an important reference to any who are interested in learning about the intersection of positive psychology and multiculturalism.
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To investigate meaning as experienced in daily life, where it has been linked to positive events and emotions, experience-sampling data were used to examine the positive emotion of pride. Recent empirical work emphasizes self-focused, self-enhancing action (i.e. achieving) as a source of pride, but theory suggests that other-focused action (i.e. caring) is also significant. Because work and family are common sources of meaning that offer opportunities to feel pride about both achieving and caring in daily life, working parents (247 mothers and 271 fathers) were studied. Achievement experience and prosocial experience both were associated with pride. However, pride’s comparatively neglected relationship to prosocial experience was even stronger than its relationship to achievement experience, in family life and work life, for women and men. Two recognized sources of meaning – both other-oriented – were associated with experiences of intense pride: being with one’s children and working with clients.
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Because of the importance of faculty engagement to achieve our nationwide student completion goals, this paper comprehensively and critically reviews the conceptualizations of faculty and employee engagement in the extant literature. This review is a means to develop an improved, more inclusive, faculty engagement framework. It is a framework that positions adjunct faculty at community colleges—who have been too often marginalized—as a central group that should also benefit from new engagement models.
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The purpose of this conceptual paper is to identify and describe the role of leisure in meaningful engagement with life, informed by leisure and positive psychology literature on these topics. Specifically, the paper identifies the key elements or factors of leisure-induced meaningful engagement with life. In particular, the paper emphasizes the contributions of leisure pursuits to maintaining: (a) a joyful life, (b) a connected life, (c) a discovered life, (d) a composed life, and (e) an empowered life. Not only do these elements seem to represent distinct factors of meaningful engagement with life through leisure, but multiple meanings can be also gained from a single leisure-engagement experience, and these meaning themes can be interconnected. The role of leisure in meaning-making and engagement is important, considering unique distinct characteristics of leisure as freely chosen, self-determined/autonomous, and intrinsically motivated engagement.
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Due to the ongoing trend of consumer empowerment, the open source movement is becoming increasingly important. Initially created as a counterpart to proprietary software engineering, open source networks exist today in many diverse areas, such as groupings of creatives, educational networks, or collaborative marketing communities. In particular, the latter have received increasing attention by enterprises in the tourism market. Why do consumers participate in a company’s marketing? On which network characteristics is individual participation based? What are the underlying causes and motivational drivers that tourism companies can specifically address to attract consumers to voluntarily participate in community-based marketing projects? Based on actual examples from the tourism industry, relevant theories of motivation, and current research findings, this study provides an overview of the profitable use and integration of communities in marketing campaigns for tourism companies.
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This chapter introduces the second element of Seligman’s (Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. Free Press, New York, NY, 2011) well-being theory, engagement. To explain the importance of engagement to well-being and flourishing, Seligman shares the work of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi and his flow theory. Csikszentmihalyi described the optimal or flow experience as “a sense that one’s skills are adequate to cope with the challenges at hand, in a goal directed, rule-bound action system that provides clear clues as to how well one is performing. Concentration is so intense that there is no attention left over to think about anything irrelevant, or to worry about problems. Self-consciousness disappears, and the sense of time becomes distorted. An activity that produces such experiences is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake, with little concern for what they will get out of it, even when it is difficult or dangerous” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p. 71). De Clercq, Bouckenooghe, Raja, and Matsyborska (Hum Resour Dev Q 25:183–212, 2014) found that a selfless leadership style, such as servant leadership, is necessary to provide the high levels of resources and energy required to enable followers to experience sustained levels of engagement.
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Vital engagement has been described as a focused, meaningful, and active relationship with work across one’s lifetime (Nakamura, 2001, 2014). Theoretically, vital engagement goes beyond short-term interest and engagement in one’s work, representing instead an ongoing, homeostatic sense of engagement that sustainably occurs across years and decades. However, it is unclear how vital engagement manifests in the modern workplace. In the footsteps of Nakamura (2014), we present the VIVA model, which conceptualizes sustainable work engagement as comprised of four mutually reinforcing elements: virtue, involvement, vitality, and acceptance. We first describe the rationale and conceptual underpinnings of the model. Then, we provide a preliminary empirical test of the model using archival data collected from a panel of school staff (N = 327) assessed five times over a three year period. Based on available data, the VIVA domains were operationalized as strengths use, work-related flow experiences, subjective vitality, and a sense of meaning in life. Using structural equation modelling, results provided preliminary support for the hypothesized model, which was relatively stable over time despite changes and challenges occurring in the school. The construct was strongly correlated with but distinct from other wellbeing measures. Although additional testing with measures that specifically align with the four theoretical dimensions is needed, the results support the relevance of the VIVA model in defining specific domains that can be supported in the workplace to help employees sustainably thrive.
Conference Paper
The Positive Psychologists Peterson, Park, and Seligman identified three paths to human happiness, which they called orientations to happiness: pleasure, flow and meaning. Pleasure can be attained by making games beautiful and pleasurable to the five senses, and flow can be attained with dynamic difficulty adjustment to maintain an optimal level of challenge. However, to the best of our knowledge there has yet to be empirical research showing the impact of meaning on enjoyment in digital games. This study aims to fill that gap in the literature. An online controlled experiment with 440 total participants is proposed to test the impact of Task Significance on Task Engagement and Enjoyment. Participants will play one of 12 versions of a custom research game online (3 × 4 factorial experimental design), and then complete an online survey. Two different ways to facilitate Task Significance in games are proposed and tested: narrative framing and character upgrading mechanisms. This results of this experiment will advance the study of game enjoyment by testing how well these two ways of designing for meaning or Task Significance lead to enjoyment in digital games.
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If you have played on an exceptional soccer or basketball team or were part of a highly engaging and productive business meeting, you may have experienced social flow. If you have been spellbound by the graceful synchrony of ice dancers, or awestruck by the flawless performance of a symphony, you may have witnessed social flow. If you have had these or similar experiences, you may agree that social flow is not the same as solitary flow. Solitary flow is an individual psychological phenomenon; social flow is a social psychological phenomenon. Both forms of flow explain intrinsic motivation and absorption; however, solitary flow is autotelic, where as social flow is syntelic. Social flow is a shared, contagious form of flow associated with highly interdependent and collaborative group processes. It is both a cause and an effect of synchronized performance within a human group. People who experience social flow enjoy it and want to repeat it. In this chapter I will further clarify the differences between social and solitary flow, describe the preconditions and group processes that cause and sustain social flow and the consequences and outcomes that document it has been achieved. Some practical applications of social flow will be discussed, and some provocative implications of social flow will be suggested for the enhancement of human performance in sports, arts, business and leisure activities.
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Die Störungs- und Defizitperspektive wird um jene Faktoren erweitert, die in direkter Weise Wohlbefinden und eine psychisch gesunde, gut gelingende Lebensgestaltung (Flourishing) ermöglichen. Ausgehend von einem multidimensionalen Konzept des Wohlbefindens, wie es sich auch in der Positiven Psychologie etabliert hat, werden zunächst Theorien zum Wohlbefinden sowie Auslöser für aktuelles Wohlbefinden angesprochen. Zudem geht es um die Indikation von wohlbefindensförderlichen Interventionen, aber auch die Frage, ob eine Steigerung von Wohlbefinden nachhaltig erfolgen kann und welche unterschiedlichen Ziele dabei angestrebt werden (u. a. Zufriedenheit, Sinn, eine positive Stimmung, das Wecken von Interesse, das Erleben von Zugehörigkeit, Akzeptiertsein sowie Geborgenheit). Das Kapitel schließt mit einem Überblick über Konzepte und Therapieansätze, die in dem Buch näher ausgeführt werden.
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The popularity of Open Source Software (OSS) in developing countries is quiet evident from its widespread adoption across government departments and public sector organizations. The use of OSS saves economic resources of cash starved countries, provides an opportunity to promote e-government, and to utilize their resources in other sectors. Many developing countries have a large pool of skilled developers who can modify the source code of the OSS at a very low cost. Many governments in developing and developed countries have switched to OSS which probably encourages others to follow the trend. It was not possible to follow the adoption trend in all the developing countries but the usage of OSS in countries like India, Brazil, and Venezuela provides us an insight. The successful adoption of OSS requires thorough analysis of its advantages as well as the issues associated with it. This chapter will provide an overview of OSS, characteristics of OSS developers, and their motivation to volunteer by contributing in OSS projects, followed by the advantages and issues associated with OSS.
Article
The primary goals of the current study were to examine parental beliefs about the benefits of leisure activities for their young children and to explore how these beliefs were related to their children’s participation in leisure activities. Parents (N = 570) of children (aged 3 to 7-years-old) reported on their children’s behavioral (i.e., frequency, breadth) and psychological engagement in their leisure activities, and a subset provided ratings of their perceptions of the benefits of children’s leisure activities using the newly developed Perceived Activity Benefits Scale (PABS). Factor analyses indicated a three-factor solution for the PABS, which were labeled character, competencies/fun, and overcoming difficulties. After controlling for demographic variables, only the competencies/fun subscale of the PABS was significantly and positively associated with activity frequency, breadth, and psychological engagement. Findings are discussed in terms of the implications of parental beliefs about their children’s leisure activities for their young children’s experiences.
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The paper presents an analysis of empirical data on relationship of study-related learning experiences with students’ psychological well-being and academic success.The data were obtained using the original Activity-Related Experiences Assessment technique (AREA) and a number of additional measures.The results of four studies are presented.The first one was devoted to the psychometric validation of AREA questionnaire.The results confirmed the construct validity of the model of activity-related experiences.The second study compared experiences associated with different types of activities (study and leisure).Differences in the structure of correlations of experiences related to different activities confirmed that experiences are activity-related rather than personality-related.The third study presents data on the relationship of study-related experiences with personality traits and academic performance.Only the experience of pleasure revealed a significant association with academic performance.The purpose of the last study was identifying the structure and reliability of AREA on the combined sample by CFA using and checking the connection of study-related experiences with indicators of psychological well-being.Experiences of pleasure and meaning were closely related to each other and negatively related to the experience of void, while the experience of effort was hardly associated the other three scores.Experiences of pleasure and meaning reveal predictable direct (and the experience of void the reverse) association with indicators of well-being.
Academic and practitioner attention to the constructs of authentic leadership and work engagement and their implications for organizations has grown dramatically over the past decade. Consideration of the implications of these constructs for high-performance human resource practices (HPHRP) is limited, however. In this monograph, we present a conceptual model that integrates authentic leadership/followership theory with theory and research on HPHRP. Then, we apply this model to systematically consider the implications of skill-enhancing, motivation-enhancing, and opportunity-enhancing HR practices in combination with authentic leadership for authentic followership, follower work engagement, and follower performance. We contend that authentic leadership, through various influences processes, promotes HPHRP, and vice versa, to help foster enhanced work engagement. By cultivating greater work engagement, individuals are motivated to bring their best, most authentic selves to the workplace and are more likely to achieve higher levels of both well-being and performance..
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In this conceptual paper, we review three decades of research on time and meaning in consumer research and psychology to identify key themes that have emerged, build frameworks that integrate past research, and reveal areas of potential for future empirical exploration. We begin by carving out a conceptual understanding of meaning in life and identifying time as a key lens through which the pursuit of meaning can be viewed. We then review extant research on how to spend and construe time in ways that enhance meaning, relying on two frameworks—one anchored in three dimensions of meaning (purpose, mattering, and comprehension) and the other in three levels of time (momentary, day‐to‐day, and lifetime). We conclude by outlining several directions for future research focused on deepening our understanding of how consumers can think about and use their time in ways that boost their sense of meaning in life. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Anju Beniwal, Rashmi Jain & Karl Spracklen, Eds. (2018). Global Leisure and the Struggle for a Better World. Cham, CH: Palgrave Macmillan. $166,95/£96,50 (paperback), ISBN 978–3–319-70,974-1.
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to identify and describe the role of leisure in the pursuit of a meaningful life, informed by the literature from interdisciplinary perspectives. Specifically, the chapter emphasizes the contributions of leisure engagement to promoting and/or maintaining: (a) a joyful life, (b) a connected life, (c) a discovered life, (d) a composed life and (e) a hopeful and empowered life. Not only do these elements seem to represent distinct factors of meaningful engagement with life through leisure, but multiple meanings can also be gained from a single leisure engagement experience, and these meaning themes can be interconnected. Considering a unique and distinct characteristic of leisure as freely chosen, autonomous and intrinsically motivated engagement, research on meaning-making and meaningful engagement with life seems to benefit greatly from examining a variety of leisure phenomena in their meaning-making functions. The ideas/insights presented in this chapter seem to provide a useful framework to advance this important, emerging area of inquiry. Apparently, leisure’s potential contributions to meaningful, engaged living should not be underestimated either conceptually or practically.
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This paper discusses the explanatory possibilities and limitations of the concept of alienation within the framework of educational psychology studies. Research into various phenomena associated with alienation (frustration and burnout, extrinsic motivation, cynicism, etc.) is often limited by the ontological realm of the individual, whereas the concept of alienation refers to a whole range of processes characteristic of both individual and sociocultural levels. The study outlines the heuristic potential that the cultural-historical activity approach to meaning and meaning regulation has in the analysis of alienation phenomena. The author reviews findings of empirical studies of alienation in education, as well as the theoretical groundwork dealing with the triggers of alienation and ways to cope with it. The discussion reveals that as human knowledge expands and becomes more complex and multifaceted on an ongoing basis, this causes various manifestations of alienation to grow in their frequency and intensity across educational environments. However, what could potentially help overcome specific psychological instances of alienation is the individual’s conscious and more socially aligned self-identification that can be achieved through meaningful reflection on the contributory part they play in the broadest context of collective activity and societal progress as a whole. Although too abstract and heterogeneous for specific psychological studies to be based upon, the concept of alienation may be of great utility in interpreting psychological findings and integrating them into the interdisciplinary context, in order to more thoughtfully revisit and improve the existing institutional configurations and instructional practices.
Article
The purpose of this article is to explore the role of constructive leisure-like pursuits in meaningful engagement with life among young people at high risk in a variety of challenges in life. This data was based on reflective insights from youth leaders (n = 9) and community agency partners (n = 8) who have been involved in the authors’ collaborative youth engagement research project for the past few years. Their insights show that constructive leisure-like activities in the research project helped promote the youths’ meaningful engagement with life. Specifically, such constructive meaningful engagement was facilitated by providing opportunities for gaining a sense of: (a) a joyful life, (b) a composed life, (c) a connected life, (d) a discovered life, and (e) an empowered life. The findings support the use of a youth-centered approach to promoting this meaning-making process especially through the strategic use of youth leadership to inspire and support high-risk youth.
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This study examined the subjective experience of academic disengagement. Flow theory, which describes an intense form of engagement, structured writing-to-learn activities undergraduates applied in major and liberal arts courses. Results suggest that writing to learn can transform academic anxiety and boredom by facilitating concentration, providing feedback, and enhancing enjoyment.
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En este estudio probamos, mediante un modelo de ecuaciones estructurales, los efectos del Flow Psicológico en las acciones de cuidado del ambiente, la Gratitud hacia acciones de ahorro de agua, la Orientación al Futuro, la Hedonia y la Eudaimonia sobre una medida de autoinforme de ahorro de agua. Analizamos las respuestas obtenidas de una muestra intencional de 460 participantes provenientes de dos ciudades mexicanas (221 varones y 239 mujeres), con edades comprendidas entre 15 a 66 años (M= 34.5 años; DE= 13.40 años). El modelo exhibió bondad de ajuste y logró explicar un 30% de la varianza en la conducta de ahorro de agua. Tender al futuro y experimentar gratitud ante acciones de cuidado del agua promueven el ahorro de este recurso, mientras que la Hedonia disminuye la práctica de dicha conducta.
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As a growing movement in the larger field of mental health, positive psychology has much to offer the art therapy profession, which in turn is uniquely poised to contribute to the study of optimal functioning. This article discusses the relationship of positive psychology to art therapy and its capacity to mobilize client strengths, to induce experiences of flow and positive emotions, and to express life purpose and meaning as well as positive emotions. Suggested research and practical applications illuminate the potential of positive art therapy to move individuals, groups, and communities beyond solely the relief of suffering to a state of flourishing.
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