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Goodman, David Harvey
Construction and validation of an instrument designed to assess flow and job satisfaction in occupational settings: exploratory research

Order No. 9633807

The purposes of this dissertation were to explore the flow experience at work and to construct and validate a questionnaire. Flow is characterized by highly positive states and total involvement in activity. Two versions of the Work Experience Questionnaire (WEQ) were constructed and validated in corporate settings indicating that the WEQ is a promising instrument.

Study 1. The first version of the questionnaire was administered to 44 subjects along with Csikszentmihalyi/Heckman's questionnaire, The Study of Flow in the Workplace. Items were positively and negatively anchored (flow/anti-flow) according to Csikszentmihalyi's six flow characteristics. The two factor principle components solution clearly separated positive and negative characteristics (Cronbach alpha of 0.8082 and 0.8156). The screen test specified 7 factors, which were: (1) frustration in turbulence, (2) psychological traits of unhappiness, (3) confidence to deal with the demands at work, (4) joyous creativity, (5) teamwork and goal attainment, (6) contentment, (7) distraction. Anti-flow items more closely approximated the proposed classification than the flow items. Concurrent validity on Csikszentmihalyi/Heckman's three questions showed that one, skills that seemed second-nature, correlated with WEQ Total Flow (p=0.037).

Study 2. A 72-item version of the WEQ was administered to 94 subjects in three sessions. The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire, Short-Form, (MSQ), Social Desirability and a two question test on Personal Efficacy were administered concurrently with a subset of these subjects. The correlation between Social Desirability and Total Flow, (r =-0.327) indicated that high flow was not likely to be fabricated. Personal efficacy was correlated with average satisfaction from the MSQ (r = -0.560) and negatively correlated with Total Anti- flow (r = -0.513), and Social Desirability (r = -0.485). The relation with previously specified characteristics was strengthened when positive and negative items were separately factor analyzed.

The experience of flow which is often an ephemeral condition of waking consciousness was compared and contrasted with the experience of pure consciousness and higher states of consciousness, as defined by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The establishment of self-referral awareness as an all-time reality characterizes higher states of consciousness. Source: DAI, 57, no. 06B, (1996): 4068

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