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.



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 …


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Submitted by Olena999 on Wed, 19/06/2024 - 13:34


Definitely yes. When you're working on some difficult but interesting projects or something you're really into.

Submitted by ubaid332 on Mon, 10/06/2024 - 08:04


Have you ever been in a 'state of flow' while doing an activity?

Yes, I am in a state of flow when doing the logical task. I do not remember how time flies. When I solve the problem, I feel delighted. My friends tell me we cannot do task like you do because we get tired. The happiness in this lecture means that when love your profession, you can see the state of flow.

Submitted by Tamam75 on Thu, 28/03/2024 - 18:23


I'm in state of flow when I am faced with new situation that I have never encountered before

Submitted by Jim34 on Wed, 28/02/2024 - 16:41


Have you ever been in a 'state of flow' while doing an activity? Yes, when I draw. 

Drawing is my favorite activity, and I enjoy it so much. 

Submitted by Toan3002 on Mon, 19/02/2024 - 09:46


I consider myself not in a state of flow because I am normally distracted by my phone, messages, and many other things. However, when I know I have a test in mind, I will focus on studying much harder.

Submitted by DzhusAngela on Tue, 06/02/2024 - 10:37


Yes!I adore this feelings and condition when I lose track of time and I not notice anything when I study or do something else and I catch my attention that I very focused and I feel that I stay in this moment.I always smile when I feel this state.

Submitted by Suyi Htet on Tue, 23/01/2024 - 03:40


Yeah, I am happy when I have full concentration on studying. As soon as I started sitting in front of a desk and studying, it carries me for a long time to keep going and I am delightful for this state. Can I say that I am in a state of flow?

Submitted by abrarkh on Mon, 18/12/2023 - 13:10


yes I am , i had been State of flow while drawing something and coloring . I feel completely absorbed .

Submitted by shahid abbas on Tue, 28/11/2023 - 15:09


Yes i am almost every day in state of flow while doing my every days tasks at work place. But it does not mean i feel happy at the ending. When there are fruitful results at the end of day then i feel relaxed; otherwise i feel completely stressed. What is this?

Submitted by Raho on Wed, 01/11/2023 - 06:50


i had been State of flow while watching series and YouTube videos also
listening to podcast