Most people would agree that being in flow is a great experience, but: (1) how do we know when someone is experiencing flow, and what is it like when they are in this state; or (2) to what extent are your athletes/students/ employees/performers absorbed in, and enjoying, what they are doing?
The Flow Scales can provide answers to questions such as these. The Flow Scales assess the optimal psychological experience of flow — an experience involving total absorption in the task at hand. When in flow, one acts with confidence and ease, and usually at superior levels of performance. The Flow Scales have been used in a wide range of performance settings. A suite of scales have been developed — the Long, Short, and Core Flow Scales — providing a range of instrumentation to suit a diversity of research and applied purposes including in performance domains (e.g. sport, music, arts), work settings, free time activities and hobbies, and school settings.
The Flow Scale Suite
The Flow Scales are used to assess flow, and have been developed and validated by Dr. Sue Jackson and colleagues. One general characteristic of this approach to assessing flow has been to do so at two levels:
1. Dispositional level: Frequency of flow experience in particular domains (e.g., sport, work, school) – these versions are known as the dispositional versions of the flow scales.
2. State level: Extent of flow experienced in a particular event or activity (e.g., a race, a work project, or a test) – these versions are known as the state flow scales.
The dispositional and state flow scales are parallel forms, with wording differences reflecting whether the disposition to experience flow (Dispositional), or a specific flow experience (State), is being assessed. All versions of the scales have been validated through confirmatory factor analyses, and the scales have demonstrated good psychometric properties.
Copyright © 2010 by Susan A. Jackson