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 byterz76 on Sat, 20/06/2020 - 01:33

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I'm a musical producer and the state of flow is exacvlty how I fell when I do music, now I'm very ompressed with that, because in this moment of my life, music is the only thing that makes me happy, altough, studying english makes me so happy too ♥

Submitted by senes19 on Thu, 18/06/2020 - 21:39

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Yes, for many times I have to say I am absorbed in what i am doing. I think in the life the most important thing is to evaluate the time and period. If we achieve this evaluate, we would save our past and future. Evaluating the time which now we are living means a lot of opportunities for us to be able successful. I belive that our strongest point is having to ability to evaluate the moment.

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Tue, 16/06/2020 - 21:11

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Yes, of course. I was in a "state of flow" while I was studying mathematics. When I was at school I loved mathematics. After graduating from school, I studied political science and law. There was a course that was named Obligation Law. It was very interesting for me. Therefore, when I was reading books in that field, I was attracted to, which is named "absorbed" by positive psychologists. When I was studying criminal law in my M.A. degree, the philosophy of criminal law was very nice. So, I usually enjoyed and felt pleasure, when I was reading theories of criminal law. Then, I applied and succeeded in AIHRC and there were many things, but I was interested in philosophy of human rights. Now I am reading a book in the field of criminal law and it is very interesting. So, I am obviously having a pleasure time with it. Regards, Tayyebi

Submitted by Nagato on Sat, 23/05/2020 - 19:58

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I don't support this I theory of flow because many tines I was in state of flow and I wasn't happy. In my opinion we get the happiness when we ignore our problem and also when we enjoy what we are doing، by other word happiness is contentment.
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Submitted by JuanManuelLopezGil on Mon, 11/05/2020 - 23:29

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Yes, of course. I have been in a "state of flow" before my travel to Malta because visited all my friends and share many time with my family.

Submitted by AMOUGOU Abega … on Sun, 10/05/2020 - 09:32

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of course, i think everyone has experienced the state of flow. in fact it depents of what you're doing, if it concerne a very interesting subjet you'll obviously being in state of flow. for my part i used to felt asleep when i watch a boring movie, but when it's on interesting subjets, i usually forget about things surounding me, feel totally absorbed.

Submitted by RiccardoLippi on Sun, 03/05/2020 - 10:09

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Yes I have. I have been in a "state of flow" during all the New Years holiday which I have spent with my friends at the Lago Maggiore. During those days I felt very well, they were a continuous party. I think that Csikszentmihalyi was right when he defined the "State of Flow". During those days the time was stopped and I didn't think about my problems and my worries, I felt only well with people which I loved. Rarely it happened while I was studying or working, but I think that is the same for almost all people.

Submitted by Arekisan on Sun, 03/05/2020 - 04:23

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Yes. It's necessary for me when I need to focus on any kind of work or something good. I can waste a lot of time while doing it, but if it was useful, it makes me happy.

Submitted by Carlos Castillo on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 02:21

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Yeah. When I have to solve a problem, I just focus on it and the time just pass away.