Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Behavioral scientist; Educator
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Psychological Sciences


Mihaly Csikszentmihaly is the C.S. and D.J. Davidson Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University, where he is the Founding Co-Director of the Quality of Life Research Center. He was formerly head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago and of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College. He is noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, but is best known as the architect of the notion of flow. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world's leading researcher on positive psychology (i.e., human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility). In his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csíkszentmihályi outlines his theory that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow- a state of concentration or complete absorption in the activity at hand and the situation. A large majority of Csikszentmihalyi's most recent work surrounds the idea of motivation and the factors that contribute to motivation, challenge, and overall success in an individual. Csikszentmihaly has received honorary doctorates from Lake Forest College, Colorado College, the Rhode Island School of Design, Stevens Institute of Technology, the University of Hartford, Fontbonne University, and the University of Rijeka in Croatia.

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