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14-06-2018 | Original Article

Deep, effortless concentration: re-examining the flow concept and exploring relations with inattention, absorption, and personality

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research
Auteurs:
Jeremy Marty-Dugas, Daniel Smilek

Abstract

Conceptualizing the construct of flow in terms of ‘deep and effortless concentration’, we developed two measurement scales designed to index individual differences in flow during ‘internal’ tasks, such as thinking (deep effortless concentration: internal—DECI) and during ‘external’ tasks, such as while playing a sport (deep effortless concentration: external—DECE). These scales were highly correlated, indicating that individuals prone to experiencing flow in external contexts are also prone to experience flow in internal contexts. Nonetheless, a measurement model construing internal and external flow as related, but separate, constructs was found to fit the data significantly better than a model where they were construed as a single construct. We then explored associations between flow and various forms of everyday inattention. In addition, we explored the relation between flow and the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS), an index of absorption, as well as the Big Five personality traits. Amongst other things, we found that flow was negatively related to inattention, indicating that people who experience flow more frequently may experience relatively less inattention in everyday contexts.

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