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Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness Paperback – July 31, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0521438094 ISBN-10: 0521438098

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Frequently Bought Together

Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness + Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (Masterminds Series) + Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Price for all three: $67.74

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 31, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521438098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521438094
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...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

Book Description

What constitutes enjoyment of life? This work 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Pamela Brill on January 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
In this book, readers will find the first well-researched proof that engaging with life is within anyone's control and that it is not more easily attained when the task is easy or leisurely. In cross-cultural studies, Csikszentmihalyi and contributors demonstrate that anyone can access the 'flow' state.

Early in his work and writings, this particular book provides descriptions of the optimal experience state that was named 'flow' in later works. The point, in my mind's eye, is that anyone can get there and that external rewards or the quality of the experience are not the critical factors for whether we engage- nor is some innate talent or socioeconomic level.

Csikszentmihalyi's work was the basis of my own work while teaching at Dartmouth Med School and, then, for the work I have done consulting to peak performers on the competitive fields of sports and business, politics, medicine, and law. It is also the basis for The Winner's Way (McGraw-Hill 2004) The Winner's Way : A proven method for achieving your personal best in any situation in which I outline how peak performers in sport get into the zone and how anyone can use three elements within their control to engage with the power of heart, brain - and energy to get it done and to achieve your goals.

Given that this was the start of work on 'flow'- Gallup and Towers and Perrin call it 'engagement', the book stands on its own as a solid 5-star read.

Looking forward,
Dr. Pam Brill
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. L. Huang on March 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
I buy this book in order to know knowledge abot the flow state and how to achieve the flow state. Now, I have obtained more related information about the flow from this book. However, I still don't konw how to reach the flow state in my life.
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