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The Phenomenology of Optimal Experience in Daily Life

  • Antonella Delle Fave
  • Fausto Massimini
  • Marta Bassi
Chapter
Part of the Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology book series (CAPP, volume 2)

Abstract

More than three decades of research on optimal experience provided extensive information on its phenomenology. Flow is characterized by a stable cognitive core around which affective and motivational variables fluctuate according to the kind of associated activities. These findings suggest that flow may not be a monolithic experience, and that there could be a family of optimal experiences related to the characteristics of associated tasks. This chapter will address this issue, specifically taking into account the motivational components of flow from the perspective of Deci and Ryans’ self-determination theory. Individual and cultural features facilitating the retrieval of optimal experience in daily life will also be explored. They include personality traits, physical conditions, personal goals, autonomy, family context, and activity characteristics, such as challenge and structure. The chapter will end with the comparison of flow with similar constructs such as peak experience and involvement, and with an analysis of the relationship between flow and other positive-psychology constructs, such as psychological well-being and satisfaction with life.

Keywords

Positive Affect Intrinsic Motivation Extrinsic Motivation Autonomous Motivation Optimal Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Delle Fave
    • 1
  • Fausto Massimini
    • 1
  • Marta Bassi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Luigi SaccosUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly

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