What constitutes enjoyment of life? Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness offers a comprehensive survey of theoretical and empirical investigations of the "flow" experience, a desirable or optimal state of consciousness that enhances a person's psychic state. "Flow" can be said to occur when people are able to meet the challenges of their environment with appropriate skills, and accordingly feel a sense of well-being, a sense of mastery, and a heightened sense of self-esteem. The authors show the diverse contexts and circumstances in which flow is reported in different cultures (e.g. Japan, Korea, Australia, Italy), and describe its positive emotional impacts. They reflect on the concept of flow vis-a-vis modern social structures, historical phenomena, and evolutionary biocultural selection. The ways in which the ability to experience flow affects work satisfaction, academic success, and the overall quality of life are suggested; and the childrearing practices that result in the ability to derive enjoyment from life, considered.
"...an impressive cross-cultural effort....a valuable compilation of major theoretical and empirical developments in one volume....well worth the attention of psychologists who are concerned with intrinsic motivations in work and at play." Contemporary Psychology
"...an interdisciplinary anthology of some of the most stimulating conceptual extensions of the original flow model together with a selection from the research that in the past decade has rounded out our understanding of the conditions that make an enjoyable life possible." Exceptional Human Experience
"The book provides a theoretical model of optimal experience, gives accounts of flow in a variety of human situations. It also shows how certain ways of life promote flow, and describes the methodology and measurement of flow in everyday life." New Scientist
\Isabella Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Richard G. Mitchell Jr, Ikuya Sato, Maria T. Allison, Margaret C. Duncan, Seongyeul Han, Reed Larson, Richard Logan, Antonella Delle Fave, Fausto Massimini, Jim MacBeth, Massimo Carli, Judith Le Fevre, Jeanne Nakamura, Anne J. Wells, Kevin Rathunde