An introduction to a lecture

Listen to the introduction of a psychology lecture to practise and improve your listening skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcript

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the first lecture of our new course in Positive Psychology. While some people may associate psychology with looking at what's wrong with us, and at what problems we have, there is much more to psychology than that. Positive psychology, for example, looks at how to help people become happier.

This lecture begins with a question: what makes a happy life?

Now, I'm going to give you one possible answer. A happy life is a life in which you are completely absorbed in what you do. Now, how does this compare with what you and your partner said? 

This answer comes from the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and the theory of flow. Csikszentmihalyi is a psychologist who has spent much of his professional life on the study of what makes people happy and how we can find happiness.

Csikszentmihalyi suggests the theory that happiness is not caused by external events or things that happen to us. Our perception of these things and how we see these events either makes us happy or sad. In other words, if we want happiness, we have to actively look for it. However, this does not mean that we should always look for happiness! Csikszentmihalyi believed that our happiest moments happen when we are in a state of flow.

The theory of flow can be summarised like this: when we are totally involved in, or focused on, what we are doing, we are in a state of flow.

Csikszentmihalyi got the inspiration for this theory when he noticed how artists worked in a studio. They completely lost track of time, they didn't notice they were hungry or tired, and they could work for hours, even days, without stopping. Anyone I have spoken to who has experienced this state of concentration has said it's difficult to explain. The best way to explain it is that it is like being in a river and the flow of the water carries you away.

For the rest of this lecture, I will explore this theory of flow in more detail. First we will look at Csikszentmihalyi's life, and how it influenced his ideas. Then we will look at the conditions that go with a state of flow. What creates flow, exactly? Finally, we will look at activities that can help us achieve flow in our everyday lives. Will this course make you happy for life? Well, maybe. Maybe. 

Right, let's get started. If you look at the next slide …

Discussion

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Average: 3 (4 votes)

Submitted by shahhoseini on Wed, 19/02/2020 - 16:10

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Yes, I think many people who work on research activities like me, have been in a 'state of flow'. When you research a subject, you should concentrate very high and completely lost track of time.

Submitted by conejo on Mon, 17/02/2020 - 00:05

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I have been in a "state of flow" in my job, when I worked for an specific goal and deadline.

Submitted by César Árraga on Mon, 10/02/2020 - 18:20

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To be honest I've never been in a state of flow, as I'm not completely absorved in what I do because sometimes get distracted more easily. But I'd like to experiment this one and feel that it is to have a happy life.
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Submitted by Khoa_Tran on Mon, 03/02/2020 - 03:59

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Yes, i have been 'state in flow' when doing something i love. For example, when i am coding or fix bug, i am in concentration. Studying something new also make me in state of flow

Submitted by gogo on Fri, 31/01/2020 - 18:52

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yes , I have been in a 'state of flow' while I doing an activity.

Submitted by lio_2028 on Tue, 21/01/2020 - 09:00

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sure i have been in state of flow while i doing things completely absorbed me like solving problems for programmer otherwise i admit and mush of times i get out of state of flow especially when i have exams sequentiality i can't control myself well that's make me nervous in this phase. however i love it and that's give me more confident in what i am doing ^ _ ^

Submitted by Hubert Sandoval on Sun, 19/01/2020 - 02:44

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I am learning a lot in this course and that make me happy, the fact that now i know something new in this day. I think that happiness can be supported by our own mind, no matter the situation we are passing through.

Submitted by Chewlim on Tue, 14/01/2020 - 20:54

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Honestly, I do everything purposely, like learning English because of my work and immigrant. If I must say in the state of flow, that is when I am shopping, I can do it for hours and completely forget about time and phone calls. That's ridiculous.

Submitted by Alberto Moreno on Thu, 09/01/2020 - 02:38

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My son and I love going out to read a book each one on starbucks and play soccer on the weekend. I thing that I´m in state of flow.