Flow and personality research: challenges and potential directions

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Autotelic personality is a constellation of dispositions that facilitate flow experiences across life domains. Conceptually, it should differentiate itself from dispositions that are conducive to flow experience in specific contexts. That is, one can expect that people with a high (vs. low) level of autotelic personality display a greater likelihood of flow experiences across activities and contexts, such as sports, creative arts, work, and more. This presentation will first review studies on the interactive effect of personality and situation on flow experience, distinguishing dispositions that facilitate flow experience in specific contexts from autotelic personality that is supposed to enhance flow proneness overall. By examining the data of autotelic personality and flow experience in different contexts, this presentation will highlight the variations in the magnitude of the relationship between autotelic personality and context-specific flow experiences. While autotelic personality generally predicts flow experiences across contexts, its predictive power appears to be stronger in well-defined, structured activities (e.g., academic work) than in activities with prevalent external influences (e.g., social demands in interactive activities). The findings underscore the importance of measuring flow experiences in multiple contexts to differentiate context-specific flow experience from flow proneness in future studies. The presentation will discuss the current challenges in flow and personality research, such as the conflation of flow-related terminologies, and will conclude by highlighting its potential future research agenda of mapping out a nomological framework of dispositions that may facilitate or hinder flow experience generally or in certain contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2023
EventWorld Congress on Positive Psychology - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 20 Jul 202323 Jul 2023


ConferenceWorld Congress on Positive Psychology


  • flow
  • life span development
  • sustainability


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