Flow

The term ‘Flow’, which was first introduced by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi who became intrigued by the immersive state exhibited by artists, whose total absorption in their work caused them to ignore hunger and fatigue. He began to research these phenomena in an attempt to understand the process of intrinsic motivation or ‘autotelic’ activity. He carried out research with people who were engaged with various activities including chess players, dancers and rock climbers. Csíkszentmihályi ultimately termed this state ‘Flow’ because interviewees would report a sense of being carried along in a current of water. The condition of Flow is characterised by a sense of being at the edge of a challenge which is difficult enough to strive to complete it, but not so difficult that incremental improvement is unachievable. 

Flux

A study* claims that, although role playing is central to social interaction, the topic has received little investigation from cognitive neuroscience or psychology. However, the researchers say that there has been a large amount of interest and research into the ‘perceptual phenomenon of theory-of-mind (ToM)’. Part of the objective of their study was to record ToM processing with functional neuroimaging methods, whilst amateur actors demonstrated an acting method, originally founded by Konstantin Stanislavski. This method incorporates identification with a character and perspective taking, through an experience of the inner sense of self, and an embodiment of an outer sense of self.   The results of the study illustrated that during the acting sequence, the subjects lost a sense of themselves and the ‘DMN (default mode network) was strongly deactivated in all four of the conditions in this study’.

*Brown S, Cockett P, Yuan Y., ‘The neuroscience of Romeo and Juliet: an fMRI study of acting’, (R. Soc. open sci. 6: 181908. 2019) <http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.181908>  

FLOW: 

  • A loss of a sense of time

  • The elimination of interference from the language centre.

  • Diminished access to the language centre (a deactivation of the brain's default mode network).

  • A meta-perspectival approach.

  • Seeing things in new combinations

  • Seeing things in their totality.

  • A sense of life being richer.

  • A renewed sense of wonder.

  • An almost mystical activation of the mind.

 

FLUX:

  • More intense emotional states than Flow, such as empathy, sadness and frustration.  

  • Connected to an experience which includes a deep reasoning, intense curiosity and appropriate negative experiences.

  • Instigates an environment of change, unpredictability, transition, modification, instability, fluctuation, innovation and novelty.

  • A diminishment of the ego and sense of self.

  • An awareness that the self is malleable and flexible--not fixed.

  • A feeling that the self has been destabilised and has acquired more complexity. 

  • An ability to be open and welcoming to new situations. 

  • Diminished aversion to new perspectives.

  • An ability to identify with others, a sense of unity and an elimination of feelings of isolation.

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 First Principle Thinking is the process whereby we drill down into the foundation of the story - asking, what is true? What is proven? It  deconstructs assumptions and locates the origin of the evidence. 

The Three Positioning Perspectives are also incorporated into the process: 

  • First position – this is your own reality, your own view of the situation. Personal mastery comes from a strong first position. You need to know yourself and your values to be an effective role model and influence others by example. 

  • Second position – this is taking a creative leap of  imagination to understand the world from another person’s perspective. It is the basis of empathy and rapport in an emotional capacity; and the basis of understanding ideas and opinions in an intellectual capacity.

  • Third position – this is a step outside first and second view and a move towards a detached perspective to see the bigger picture. 

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The Five-Factor Model’ (FFM) is also known as ‘The Big Five Personality Traits.’ Over the last twenty years, this model has been the most consistently used by personality psychologists.

  • Students do not study their own personalities, or those of their peers,

  • Students do analyze the personality traits and emotional responses of their characters, to consider why they made the decisions they made.

  • This ‘exploration-at-a-distance’ depersonalizes the process whilst providing a full study of human behavior. 

 

This process is particularly powerful for boys who might be unaccustomed to emotional exploration, their observation of characters personalities and emotions are one step away from translating them to their own. This sees a reduction in self-consciousness in discussing these findings. 

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Game theory is not about how to play online games. 

Game theory is a framework for conceiving social situations among competing players. It is the science of strategy.

Game theory is still a young and developing science. However, twenty game theorists have been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their contributions to the discipline.

Game theory incorporates the following:

  • Game: Any set of circumstances that has a result dependent on the actions of two or more decision-makers (players).

  • Players: A strategic decision-maker within the context of the game.

  • Strategy: A complete plan of action a player will take given the set of circumstances that might arise within the game.

  • Payoff: The payout a player receives from arriving at a particular outcome.

  • Information set: The information available at a given point in the game.

  • Equilibrium: The point in a game where players have made their decisions and an outcome is reached.