Flow and productivity: a pilot study
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AbstractFlow Theory (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975) describes the phenomenon of the ‘optimal experience ’; the experience in which individuals report feeling ‘in the zone’ . When it was found that flow occurred more at work than in leisure (Csikszentmihalyi & LeFevre, 1989), the positive psychological benefits of flow seemed appropriate to apply to organizational environments. Although, individual differences play a large role in one’s likelihood of experiencing flow during a task (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975, Fullagar & Kalloway, 2009, Ullen, 2012). Creating a work-setting that successfully leads to flow for the majority of employees can prove to be complicated and this is perhaps why many organizations are not moving toward such implementations. Using a between-groups design, the current study investigated whether a flow-related cue would influence an individual to experience a flow-like state as opposed to an individual who only experienced a neutral cue. Further, if their experience with flow had any effect on their productivity, measured by number of sentences in response to a neutral essay topic. Flow-like symptoms were measured through the short FSS-2 (Jackson, 2008) and their written responses were analyzed using an online readability analyzer (Taylor, 2013). Participants also received the Autotelic Personality Questionnaire (Tse, 2018) and the Ten Item Personality Measure (TIPI) (Gosling, 2003). The manipulation did not yield any significance, although those who reported experiencing a flow-like state did write more sentences than those who did not experience a flow-like state. Significant correlations between flow and extraversion and conscientiousness , and autotelic personalities were also found.
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