Attention and the Holistic Approach to Behavior

  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS)


The fate of ”consciousness” as a scientific concept is one of the most ironic paradoxes in the history of psychology. Once the central issue, the very essence of what psychology was all about, it is nowadays a peripheral concern, an antiquated idea about as useful as ether and phlogiston are to physicists. According to Murphy and Kovach (1972, p. 51), consciousness ”has been a storm center in psychology for a century. Some regard it as an unfortunate and superfluous assumption. . . . Others regard consciousness as only one of many expressions of psychological reality; indeed many psychologists think that the recognition of a psychological realm far greater than the conscious realm is the great emancipating principle of all modern psychology.”


Social System Holistic Approach Flow Experience Downward Causation Chess Player 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human DevelopmentUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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