Advancing our understanding of psychological flow: a scoping review of conceptualizations, measurements, and applications

Norsworthy, Cameron, Jackson, Ben, and Dimmock, James A. (2021) Advancing our understanding of psychological flow: a scoping review of conceptualizations, measurements, and applications. Psychological Bulletin, 147 (8). pp. 806-827.

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Abstract

Research on psychological flow is well established, although criticisms remain regarding conceptual and measurement issues associated with the construct. This scoping review maps flow-related research across scientific disciplines, examining the conceptualization, measurement instruments, and outcomes of flow between 2012 and 2019. Across 236 sources that met the review criteria, 108 different flow-related constructs were measured by 141 instruments, and 84 possible antecedents were identified. Despite the varied approaches, a common set of overarching antecedent constructs included “optimal challenge” and “high motivation,” and recurring characteristics of the flow experience itself included “absorption,” “effort-less control,” and “intrinsic reward.” Applied studies—albeit inconsistent in approach and largely correlational in nature—predominantly linked flow to “positive development” (i.e., well-being and health), “high functioning,” and “further engagement.” We contextualize the findings of the review relative to important work on flow that has recently emerged (following the review period)—in doing so, we hope this review offers a contemporary framework that can be used for the study of flow across scientific disciplines.

Item ID: 70934
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1939-1455
Copyright Information: © 2021 American Psychological Association
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2022 23:47
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520403 Learning, motivation and emotion @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health @ 100%
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