Flow State Requires Effortful Attentional Control but Is Experienced Effortlessly by Video Game Players

Publié le 8 juillet 2024 Mis à jour le 8 juillet 2024

Pujol, M., Lemercier, C. & Caroux, L.(CLLE)

Flow is a mental state of intense concentration that occurs when a person is completely absorbed in a task. The amount of mental effort required by this mental state is currently subject to debate. The present experimental study explored the link between flow and both objective and subjective measures of mental effort. Subjective measures of flow and mental effort, and objective measures of mental effort (pupil diameter and heart rate variability), were collected during a puzzle video game played at one of three levels of difficulty: too easy, optimal and too difficult. Participants in the optimal condition reported more flow than those in both the too-easy condition (which generated less mental effort and less subjective mental effort) and too-difficult condition (which generated an equal amount of mental effort and more subjective mental effort). Flow is a state that may require mental effort, even if it feels effortless for video game players.

Interacting with Computers, iwae026. https://doi.org/10.1093/iwc/iwae026