Who are more likely to experience flow?

I’ve written before about flow as part of creativity while improvising with Jazz. Flow can be defined as: the holistic sensation that people feel when they act with total concentration and intrinsic enjoyment. But who experiences flow more easily, what character traits are related to the likelihood of experiencing flow?

The researchers used the temperament en character scale developed by Cloninger. This cross sectional study was done with 378 online gamers. They used a web form for collecting data. This study posted invitations on more than 20 web sites which online gamers frequently visited for searching gaming information and group members.

Those experiencing high levels of flow during gaming also had higher scores on novelty seeking, persistence, and self transcendence. Self-directedness was negatively correlated with flow. Novelty seekers are those that favor new things, they concentrate on new things. Persistence is perseverance regardless of frustration and fatigue, those are the ones that keep going. Self-directedness is a character trait not a temperament such as the previous dimensions. Self-transcendence is the tendency to regard one’s self as an
integral part of the universe, i.e., ‘‘everything turned into one interdependent whole’’. Self-directedness represents the tendency to be autonomous, and to regulate and adopt one’s own behavior to achieve goals or to fit value. Those are the ones who can focus on their goals. When you score high on this feature you’re not easily experiencing flow.

flow is positively related to novelty seeking, persistence, selftranscendence, but negatively related to self-directedness.

Teng, C. (2011). Who are likely to experience flow? Impact of temperament and character on flow Personality and Individual Differences, 50 (6), 863-868 DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2011.01.012