Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Cognitive Flow

Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1587-1
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Synonyms

Definitions of Flow

Flow is a predominantly cognitive state of deep concentration and task absorption that makes a person feel one with the activity. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1975/2000) identified flow in the early 1970s by interviewing surgeons, rock climbers, composers, dancers, chess players, and athletes and asking them to report their experience when they engaged in the most challenging phases of their preferred endeavors. The interviews produced rich textual descriptions that shared six main themes: (1) focused concentration on the present activity, with centering of attention on a narrow stimulus field (e.g., “When I start, I really do shut out the world”), (2) merging of action and awareness (e.g., “I am so involved in what I am doing… I don’t see myself as separate from what I am doing”), (3) loss of self-consciousness (e.g., “I am less aware of myself and my problems”), (4) sense of controlover one’s own actions (e.g., “I feel immensely strong”),...

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References

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessNational College of IrelandDublinIreland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sarah Dunphy-Lelii
    • 1
  1. 1.Bard CollegeAnnandale-On-HudsonUSA