Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Coffee Chat - Losing Time (Flow Theory)

Thanks to Les for hosting the Tuesday Coffee Chat.  This week's theme is:
"What makes you lose track of time? "

A professor by the name of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi developed the theory of flow in 1975.  Flow theory explains the sensation people feel when they complete absorbed into the activity in which they are engaged.  In other words, this is what happens when we lose track of time.  He theorized and has provided thousands of pieces of evidence to support this assertion that flow occurs when one engages in an activity where their skill set is matched by a challenge (figure 1).

Figure 1 - Taken from http://austega.com/gifted/16-gifted/articles/24-flow-and-mihaly-csikszentmihalyi.html

By engaging in an activity where our skills are put to the test, we become engrossed into it as it requires all of our concentration to achieve the goals of the task at hand (figure 2).  This is why those in flow lose a sense of time.  They become one with the task at hand.  

Figure 2 - Taken from http://austega.com/gifted/16-gifted/articles/24-flow-and-mihaly-csikszentmihalyi.html
If you would like to know more about this check out:

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1975). Beyond Boredom and Anxiety: Experiencing Flow in Work and Play, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-87589-261-2

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