An introduction to a lecture

An introduction to a lecture

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

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

Preparation

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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Submitted by Nguyễn Thảo Linh on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 15:35

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I am always lose track of time when I am watching my favorite movies or when I am attending a lecture which its lecture can convey his or her knowledge obviously.

Submitted by Fatii on Sun, 17/01/2021 - 09:51

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I experience this state of flow when I learn something new and in the same time I love it, I lost the track of time, otherwise when I did something I didn't like I feel boring.
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Submitted by El Cuy Mágico on Fri, 15/01/2021 - 21:26

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Of course, I have been in state of flow when I used to play football or basketball. It’s a pretty difficult feeling to describe. But it’s totally true when they say you lose track of time. I also feel this state of flow when I read, but obviously I really have to be quite attracted by the topic.

Submitted by marlio96 on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 18:57

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Yes, sometimes I can concentrate on doing some activity that I can lose track of time, for example when I play the piano or when I am running, however when I am doing something that I like.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Sun, 10/01/2021 - 05:27

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Yes, I'm in a state of flow when I reading novels. I like too much novel it's feel me to free about future.i completely absorbed in this. I forget many things about my homework, exam etc. This theory is too much importance in real life. From now I have known what's makes a happy life. It's one of the good lesson. It's learn both - learn English and how to being a happy Thanks a lot BC.

Submitted by Elham Barakat on Mon, 04/01/2021 - 15:54

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I accomplish this state of flow only when I read books. But mostly I didn't catch this feeling. I didn't lose my track. No way to flow with the current of air.

Submitted by Saad786 on Sat, 26/12/2020 - 11:14

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I have been in a state of flow when I play pes 21 and score more goals.

Submitted by As Sema on Mon, 21/12/2020 - 09:45

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why it is not play???

Hello As Sema,

I understand you're having problems listening to the audio. I've checked the page and it appears to be working correctly. You should see the audio player under the 'Preparation' section.

If the audio does not play for you, try using a different device. Sometimes the device can have compatibility issues, so changing the device may help.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Aung5402 on Sat, 19/12/2020 - 04:15

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Sure, I have been in state of flow while I was reading the article about the universe and space. I had absorbed and addicted in the article I was reading. And, as yon know, the universe is extremely astronomical. So, obviously, the articles about universe is also massive. I always lost track of time while I was reading these article and the time will often reach to midnight.