In The Zone: Cognitive Flow And Online Learning
Did you ever sit down for a quick video gaming session before bed and then suddenly notice the dawn breaking outside your window? What felt like a half an hour to you was, in reality, a day’s work! You weren’t abducted by aliens, nor did you slip through a crack in the fabric of spacetime – you were simply in a heightened state of engagement.
This is the essence of Cognitive Flow - a term coined by psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in the 1970s. Whenever we approach a task that’s too difficult for us, we get anxious and switch off. Similarly, if the task is much too easy for our skills, we’ll get bored and drift away. However, when the balance is just right, something magical happens.