Further explorations into the conundrum of flow processes

Jonathan Wright, Gaynor Sadlo, Graham Stew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study builds on previous research that has aimed to clarify uncertainties regarding what happens before, during and after a ‘flow’ experience, a psychological state that appears to arise during optimal human experience. A phenomenological approach was taken to examine the flow experiences of seven participants. The method included participants keeping journals and semi-structured interviews. The flow process seemed to vary between challenge-skills, enjoyment, positive distraction and mindfulness experiences. These experiences had similarities, as all participants described them as positive psychological states that were a consequence of being absorbed in an occupation, but differed in relation to prior affect and the degree of challenge an occupation presented. This research has highlighted the importance of meaning and the essential role occupation may have in protecting well-being. Occupations may lead to optimal experience when they lead to altered and ordered states of consciousness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Occupational Science Today
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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