Flow Experiences and Well-Being

A Media Neuroscience Perspective

Authored by: René Weber , Richard Huskey , Britney Craighead

The Routledge Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138886582
eBook ISBN: 9781315714752
Adobe ISBN: 9781317501954

10.4324/9781315714752.ch14

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Abstract

Much of the media psychology literature focuses on the factors that undermine well-being, such as the harmful effects of media violence, racial stereotyping, sex-role stereotyping, the creation of unrealistic body-image expectations, and so on (see e.g., Bryant & Oliver, 2009; Nabi & Oliver, 2009; see also the chapters by Mastro and by Greenwood in this volume). In fact, even studies purporting to explore well-being often examine issues that actually detract from well-being, such as depression and loneliness associated with Internet use (e.g., Huang, 2010). At the same time, the chapters in this volume forcefully demonstrate that a notable number of media scholars have begun to systematically investigate media’s potential to enhance well-being and to contribute to a purposeful and fulfilling life. Among the various psychological mechanisms that may connect media use and well-being, media scholars have invested significant effort in understanding how media give rise to so-called flow experiences (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990; Sherry, 2004a).

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