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 (5 votes)

Submitted by ceehinh on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 03:30

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yes, I have been in a state of flow a load of time. I mean, especially, I have been reading a novel or watching some romantic movies until it has finished so that I have lost track of many things like to-do list, study,... you can see? I waste of time doing something like that and I'm putting on check Facebook, Instagram,... that it makes me distracted

Submitted by Estíbaliz75 on Tue, 19/10/2021 - 21:39

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Yes, when I'm reading a novel that I really like so much. I don't realize how long I've been spent to read, I’m able to not stop until I finish it

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Thu, 07/10/2021 - 18:07

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Yes, I'm forget everything when I reading stories and novels. I totally lose of track and I'm happy to be reading and excited about this.

Submitted by vanhoc on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 05:31

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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.

Submitted by Amer Ha on Tue, 05/10/2021 - 02:19

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I have rarely been in state of flow while doing activity.

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Submitted by iEdd on Wed, 07/07/2021 - 18:18

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Yes, I have. Several times. The main activity is reading, since I love it. Even, reading books in english has become part of my personal routine. Another one is study Physics. It doesn't matter what's hapenning outside, once I find the correct rithym of studying, I'm absrved in what I'm learning and understanding. Finally, the last is when I'm playing an important volleyball match. Sometimes, my team and I heve spent almost five hours in a game, and obviously, we didn't feel the time's flow.

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Wed, 23/06/2021 - 19:39

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Yes, I have. I remember in 2019 when I was studying mathematics (I loved mathematics) I usually go to sleep at 10 pm, but that day I met an exercise which was very difficult, so I was really focused on solving it. I didn't notice the time or the silence in my condo. When I finished to solve that exercise I came to the living room and saw the clock; it was at around 3 am. I was surprised because I was not tired o sleepy.

Submitted by fariba on Wed, 16/06/2021 - 08:31

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yes i have been in state of flow several times, when i was painting.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 06:20

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When I'm watching movies in the smartphone then I have totally loss of track and external effects have not seen.