What does it feel like to win the World Cup? A team of positive psychologists has recently sought to understand that wonderful, timeless feeling we have all experienced when absorbed in a challenging task that stretches our abilities to the limit without exceeding them. Pioneering psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called this state ‘flow’, and found the associated experience to be highly rewarding and often accompanied by feelings of intense joy and satisfaction after the event.
More recently, however, this idea has been extended to include ‘social flow’, which can arise when a group of people is absorbed in a challenging task (like winning the World Cup, for example). Recent research by Walker (2010) demonstrates that social flow brings even more joy than solitary flow — that ‘doing it together is better than doing it alone.’
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