PREDICTORS OF FLOW EXPERIENCE IN LEARNING: AN EXAMINATION OF MOTIVATION AND COGNITIVE ENGAGEMENT
Lee, E.J., Halla University, Korea
Flow is a highly enjoyable psychological state that refers to the holistic sensation people feel when they act with total involvement in an activity (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975). The purpose of this study was to explore the possible antecedents of flow. The roles of motivation and cognitive engagement were examined on the flow experience of college students (n=262). It was found that intrinsic motivation, self-determined extrinsic motivation, and cognitive engagement were positively related to flow, while non-self-determined extrinsic motivation and a motivation were negatively related to flow. A path model was run to test the hypothesized direct effects of different types of motivation and cognitive strategies on flow. A motivation emerged as the significant predictor of the use of surface cognitive strategies. Intrinsic motivation and self-determined extrinsic motivation were significant predictors of the use of deep cognitive and metacognitive strategies. In turn, these strategies significantly predicted the flow experience, mediating the relations of motivation and flow. The findings of this study would provide preliminary basis for understanding who is more likely to experience flow and how it occurs. These results are discussed in terms of implications for instruction and suggestions for interventions.