Abstract and Keywords
Flow is a state of deep absorption that may be experienced when engaged in activities that stretch one’s capacities. A defining feature of the flow state is a reduction in self-awareness, which has been described in the flow literature as loss of self-consciousness. This chapter specifies the senses in which awareness of the self is, and is not, lost when one is in flow. It reviews the phenomenological, psychometric, and neurophysiological literatures addressing hypo-egoism in flow, suggesting that flow activities are characterized by hypo-egoic complexity or a dialectical interplay of directed and effortless attention. Flow is seen to be both hypo-egoic and egoic, with a loss of self-awareness and yet ultimately a growth of the self. The chapter considers whether the hypo-egoism in flow extends beyond loss of self-awareness to a focus on domains larger than the individual self, and calls for more research on the hypo-egoic component of flow.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.