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Lecture 5

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

Lecture 5 May 29  Rec in A8,9  Flow - Proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi -a positive psychology concept -is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. - Completely focused motivation -It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. -the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. -a feeling of spontaneous joy while performing a task -a deep focus on nothing but the activity  All you touch and all you see Is all your life will never be -Pink Floyd  Watching tv -no one feels joyous or wholesome after watching tv for 4 hours straight  Theory of flow -phonological understanding of life -moment by moment sensory experience -summation of moments -gathered narratives - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi interviewed a cross section of people >students, factory workers, athletes, artists, villagers, mountainous small communities, motorcycle gang members, sailors, office workers, school teachers -he wanted to distill all these narratives and look for commonalities >people have peak experiences >does not matter if it’s is a high arousal or low arousal activity >inner feelings are close to identical in different ages or cultures >people’s best moments of being alive -from this he created his theory of flow 1) Description of peak experiences -what it feels like to be thoroughly enthused by life 2) Guide to Quality life  Monk: What is the secret to eternal happiness? Zen master: Attention M: can you elaborate on that? Z: attention! Attention! Attention!  Happiness: You already have it  Optimal experience happens when people’s … is completely absorbed -merging Action and Awareness -our culture does not promote the merging of Action and Awareness >multitasking People waste way more time Concentration is lost  2 year olds -they need structure -distant gratifications waiting…  Paying attention to moments  It’s easier to have a flow/full(?) state when you are doing something you enjoy  Think of attention as a kind of energy you have  Self/ego -goals -self competence -self liking -socail comparision -refelcted appraisals -orienting reflex (O.R.) -when you are insecure >energy must be spent on worrying about things -secure people >don’t need to waste time or energy to worry about those things >then they have the attention/energy
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