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Flow Experience

Empirical Research and Applications

  • Book
  • © 2016


  • Offers an overview on the newly discovered findings in flow research
  • Updates the development of the current empirical research on the psychological flow experience
  • Presents and discusses new empirical findings in flow research with an overview of the current research from European Flow Researchers Network (ERFN)

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About this book

This volume provides updates and informs the reader about the development of the current empirical research on the flow experience. It opens up some new research questions at the frontiers of the field. The book offers an overview on the latest findings in flow research in several fields such as social psychology, neuropsychology, performing arts and sport, education, work and everyday experiences. It integrates the latest knowledge on experimental studies of optimal experience with the theoretical foundation of psychological flow that was laid down in the last decades.

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Table of contents (23 chapters)

  1. Flow Experience: General Introduction

  2. Flow, Creativity and Productivity

  3. Flow in Education

  4. Flow in Every Day Experiences

  5. The Social Flow

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

    László Harmat

  • Department of Education, University of Aarhus, Copenhagen, Denmark

    Frans Ørsted Andersen

  • Department of Education, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark

    Fredrik Ullén

  • School of Health Professionals, University of Brighton, Eastbourne, United Kingdom

    Jon Wright

  • School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton, East Bourne, United Kingdom

    Gaynor Sadlo

About the editors

László Harmat has been postdoctoral research fellow at the Karolinska Institute, Department of Neuroscience in Fredrik Ulléns’ group since 2011. He completed his Ph.D. in 2010 at Semmelweis University, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Budapest, Hungary and he was a lecturer in psychology at the same institution for several years. His main research interest involves exploring the neurophysiological underpinnings of psychological flow experience; the psychophysiological and therapeutic effects of music. He also investigates the neurophysiological underpinnings of expertise and skill learning.  László Harmat is a graduated music teacher and he has been leading a chamber choir in Stockholm, Sweden since 2012. 

Frans Ørsted Andersen has been an Associate Professor at the Department of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark, since 2010. He is involved in school research at many levels and has conducted research within areas like motivation, engagement, cooperation, attention, learning and attention at both primary and secondary school levels, using flow as a concept and a theory to understand optimal learning environments.  Teaching and learning in the STEM area (Science Technology Engineering and Math) is another area researched by Frans Ørsted Andersen. He also works with comparative Nordic educational research and has looked especially at the qualities of Finnish education. He has published several books and articles on flow, mainly in Danish and Norwegian, the latest book title being “Flow i hverdagen. Navigation mellem kaos, stress og kedsomhed” [Flow in everyday life. Navigation between chaos, stress and boredom](2013).

Fredrik Ullén is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, since 2010. An overall aim of his research is to analyse the neuropsychology of expert performance, i.e. the various brain mechanisms that allow us to perform at a very high level within a specific domain, after many years of training. One specific research interest is the psychological flow state, its underlying mechanisms, and its importance for motivation and creativity in expertise. The research of Ullén is mainly focused on musicians as a model group. Methodologically his team combines neuroimaging and behavior genetic analyses with experimental psychology and physiology. In addition to his career as a scientist, Professor Ullén is active as a professional pianist, and is represented as a soloist on around 20 CD records. He is a lifetime fellow of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music since 2007.

Jon Wright is a Principal Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Brighton. He completed his PhD in 2008 exploring the process of optimal experiences utilising a phenomenological approach. Within his research Jon provides an occupational science perspective, a science that underpins his professional background as an occupational therapist. His research has integrated Reversal Theory to help our conceptualisation of flow. Jon’s research continues to explore the flow concept and with a team of Network Partners he is aiming to establish a shared conceptualisation of flow, developing guidelines regarding the utility of different measurements and indicators of flow. 

Gaynor Sadlo recently retired as Professor of Occupational Science at the University of Brighton, England, following 47 years in occupational therapy practice, teaching and research. She has been interested in flow concepts for about 25 years, promoting undergraduate and postgraduate flow research (with colleague Dr Jon Wright) as crucial to the understanding of the therapeutic properties of ‘occupation’; in particular, reduced self-awareness is seen as a crucial aspect of the beneficial effects of deep engagement.  Flow within pedagogy is another major interest, and her pioneering research and practice in problem-based learning as a philosophy of optimal educational experience gained the award of National Teaching Fellow in 2007.  She is also a Fellow of the College of Occupational Therapists.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Flow Experience

  • Book Subtitle: Empirical Research and Applications

  • Editors: László Harmat, Frans Ørsted Andersen, Fredrik Ullén, Jon Wright, Gaynor Sadlo

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Behavioral Science and Psychology, Behavioral Science and Psychology (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-28632-7Published: 10 May 2016

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-80393-7Published: 13 June 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-28634-1Published: 15 May 2016

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVII, 392

  • Number of Illustrations: 43 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Positive Psychology, Quality of Life Research, Personality and Social Psychology

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