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 Daudau0601 on Thu, 16/04/2020 - 03:55

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Yes of course. I am in a state of flow while i'm studying. I have a habit when i start learning, i turn off face book or social network to focus on studying effectively. So i completely lost track of time.
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Submitted by dinhhang on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 04:14

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yes, I had. when I draw I can lost track of time, I feel the time flow so fast.

Submitted by Ayzhan on Mon, 13/04/2020 - 17:20

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Hi everyone! Yes, indeed, I know this feeling, when I am in "a state of flow" - it is happen when I involved in something interesting to me. Yes, its very fantastic feeling- in these moments - I am very happy.

Submitted by micaela on Sat, 04/04/2020 - 02:10

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Yes, I been in a "state of flow" when I was really enjoyed in an activity or when I was really worried about something. So I am not sure that the "state of flow" means a state of happyness.

Submitted by jazmin marquez on Mon, 16/03/2020 - 11:58

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Sure, I've been in "flow state" when I'm teaching. In those moments time passes faster and I forget all my problems. I have also been in this state while practicing some physical activities, such as running and cycling. This matter made me think about the importance of a good choice of our work and professions; on this depends our happiness!!!!
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Submitted by Nikolaos Stavr… on Mon, 16/03/2020 - 11:11

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For sure, I've been in a "state of flow" Whenever I study English I concentrate so hard that I lose track of time. Thank you

Submitted by Birgit17 on Sun, 01/03/2020 - 17:59

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Hello Everyone I agree with this theory. As for me, even though I am not an artist, I maintain that I am really happy when I focus on an activity. Because I am totally involved and therefore, there is no time to think at all. My brain is completely concentrated and I don't have any time to think. I have been learning English for two years on a daily basis. I am keen on learning English everyday. During all the time I am learning, I feel an extreme relief of peace. That also happened last year, when I was painting the walls of my whole flat. We shouldn't think. Never. Thoughts are the venom of our mind. In my opinion, obviously.
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Submitted by Smiley1 on Thu, 20/02/2020 - 12:28

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Yes....! I'm in a state of flow whenever I visit this site! ( ˃̶͈ ᴗ ˂̶͈ )

Submitted by mselmi on Thu, 20/02/2020 - 08:21

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I'm completely absorbed in my work. I'm always in a state of flow. I'm always happy even I don't have work to do. Curently, I am involved in learning English from 8 am to 12 pm while wainting to receive a purchase order from my partners. Also, Learning English will help me to get my English better and then get more work. So external events whatever they are sad dont affect me.