Increasing college students’ experience of flow while completing academic writing tasks
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Flow is a state of consciousness where the individual experiences engagement, concentration, and enjoyment. An intervention was conducted focusing on challenge-skill balancing and intrinsic motivation, both previously conceptualized as aspects of flow. The variables evaluated were challenge-skill balance, concentration on task, flow, and intrinsic motivation. The study had 211 undergraduate college students (control = 104, intervention = 107). Repeated measures ANOVA was used to evaluate the data. The findings were mixed. Significant main effects between groups were not found. Significant main effects for time (pre-test to post-test) were found for challenge-skill balance, flow, and intrinsic motivation. A statistically significant change from pre-test to post-test for the control group on intrinsic motivation suggests the possible presence of a confounding effect by the control group curriculum. Some evidence was found that flow can be influenced by direct intervention. Further research is needed to clarify, evaluate, and extend these findings.