How Flow was discovered

Excerpt from the “Missing Link Discovered” book


Let’s say a little more about how Flow was discovered, and place it in a broader context.

First, based on thousands of carefully structured interviews and the measurement of what might be called the “state of mind” of many volunteer individuals over long periods – as they engage in various types of activities (each involving different challenges and skills) – Csikszentmihalyi identified and labeled the frequently changing moods of a modern human being, as shown in our illustration.

The Illustration shows the eight-fold classification of a typical person’s changing “moods” during a typical day, while awake and engaged in various types of activities, each activity involving different combinations of challenges and skills. (Note the labels of the axes.)

Not every person will find himself or herself in all the mood states in a given day. Also, the relative importance of various mood states will differ from person to person; some may seldom or practically never enter a given mood state. (A side remark: it has been found that just about everybody other than a very young child — irrespective of culture, education, and occupation — had experienced Flow repeatedly, at various times during their lives, without giving those experiences the “Flow” label.)



(Read more in our new book “Missing Link Discovered” by: Marer-Buzady-Vecsey)