Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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A science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions promises to improve quality of life and prevent the pathologies that arise when life is barren and meaningless. The exclusive focus on pathology that has dominated so much of our discipline results in a model of the human being lacking the positive features(More)
To understand the dynamics of mental health, it is essential to develop measures for the frequency and the patterning of mental processes in every-day-life situations. The Experience-Sampling Method (ESM) is an attempt to provide a valid instrument to describe variations in self-reports of mental processes. It can be used to obtain empirical data on the(More)
Followed 78 adult workers for 1 week with the experience sampling method. (This method randomly samples self-reports throughout the day.) The main question was whether the quality of experience was more influenced by whether a person was at work or at leisure or more influenced by whether a person was in flow (i.e., in a condition of high challenges and(More)
This article investigates the effects that perceived challenges and skills in activities have on the quality of everyday life experience. Based on flow theory it was predicted that quality of daily experience would depend on the challenge experienced and skill required in specific situations, as well as on the balance between challenge and skill. The(More)
This article illustrates how creativity is constituted by forces beyond the innovating individual, drawing examples from the career of the eminent chemist Linus Pauling. From a systems perspective, a scientific theory or other product is creative only if the innovation gains the acceptance of a field of experts and so transforms the culture. In addition to(More)
Twenty-five adolescents reported their daily activities and the quality of their experiences for a total of 753 times during a normal week, in response to random beeps transmitted by an electronic paging device. In this sample adolescents were found to spend most of their time either in conversation with peers or in watching television. Negative affects(More)
This research uses a new time sampling method to compare adolescent and adult mood variability. Over 9000 self-reports from 182 people are used to evaluate the widespread theoretical assumption that adolescents experience greater mood variability as part of a syndrome of psychosocial disequilibrium. The findings confirm that adolescents experience wider and(More)
The present study examined the relationship of personality, experience while studying, and academic performance. One hundred and seventy talented high-school students (68 males, 102 females) completed the Personality Research Form (PRF) and recorded their experience via the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). The results showed that controlling for ability,(More)
Although early interview-based analyses of the enjoyment of intrinsically motivated, goal-directed activities (e.g., chess, rock climbing, art making) suggested the importance of relatively difficult, "optimal" challenges, subsequent findings derived from a wider range of activities have not provided consistent support for this proposition. Two studies were(More)