Flow: expression and applications

Jeanne Nakamura, Dwight C. K. Tse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Flow is a form of positive experience characterized by focused attention, merging of action and awareness, heightened sense of control, loss of self-consciousness, distortion of time perception, and autotelic (intrinsically rewarding) experience. Although the capacity for experiencing flow appears to be almost universal, theoretical reasoning and empirical evidence suggest individual differences in flow. The current entry describes what these individual differences are and how psychologists have conceptualized and operationalized them. The entry also summarizes research findings on the relations among flow, personality traits, and psychological covariates. In addition, it discusses how individual differences in flow relate to demographic, biological, and cultural factors. Finally, the entry discusses the relations of flow to physical and psychological health.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences
EditorsBernardo J. Carducci, Christopher S. Nave, Jeffrey S. Mio, Ronald E. Riggio
Place of PublicationHoboken, N.J.
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2020


  • autotelic personality
  • dispositional flow
  • flow
  • flow proneness
  • psychological health
  • well-being


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