Supervisor: Dr. Graham Mitchell - Graham.Mitchell@northampton.ac.uk
Before volunteering to participate in the following study please take a moment to carefully read the below information and consent form. It is recommended that you save a copy of the form should you wish to refer to it at a later date.
It is important that you only participate if you are above the age of 18.
The focus of the following study is to gain reports of optimal and deeply involving experiences and how the individual can contribute to the quality of this experience. The study will ask for reports of optimal experiences in the lives of different individuals and how their personality, character strengths and motivation relate to that experience.
The following pages will direct you through 5 questionnaires which will initially attempt to identify your personal character strengths. The second questionnaire provided will ask you to relate an experience you have had to 3 quotations detailing other people's observations of their own deeply involving experiences. Finally, the remaining three questionnaires will be asking you to estimate to what extent you feel your personality, state of motivation and character strengths contributed to that experience.
Upon agreeing to participate you will be part of a group of at least 100 other individuals whose data will be analysed to attempt to discover the strongest links and relationships between having a better optimal experience and an individual's character strengths, personality and motivational state. The researcher is especially interested in the state found within these optimal experiences known as a flow state and is attempting to gather data which would enable for potential additions to the theoretical model. Optimal experiences which enable a flow state have been shown to improve enjoyment of work, leisure and relationships as well as to help create meaning and satisfaction within individual's lives. By participating in the following study you may well be aiding the development of further research and methodologies enabling the teaching of individuals in how to turn their everyday lives into positive, beneficial and worthwhile experiences.
The questionnaires consist of 48 responses and should take between 15-40 minutes depending on your speed of completion. If possible it is recommended that the questionnaires be completed in a quiet location with minimal distractions. Upon reception of your data, you will be sent a participant ID number known only to yourself and the researcher. It is to be stressed that participation is entirely voluntary and you may now close this window if you do not feel you would want to volunteer. However, should you be willing to participate you need not complete any questions that you feel make you uncomfortable and it is important to remember that there are no right or wrong answers. You may withdraw yourself from participating at any point in the study and need not provide a justification for doing so. You will be able to withdraw your data after submission by e-mailing the researcher including your participant ID number, until 20th March 2013. Due to the lack of personal data being asked for your data will only be able to be identified through your participant ID number until to time of analysis upon which participant numbers are removed from the data.
Upon reception of your data, it will be placed in a password encrypted digital folder which will be stored on a private external hard disk drive with the raw data will only be seen by the researcher and supervisor. On completion of the project, in August 2013, the digitally stored data will be destroyed. Your responses will be kept confidential and as such it is encouraged that you attempt to be as honest as possible with the ratings, responses and answers given in the following questionnaires.
By participating in this study you gain the chance to learn about yourself, identifying your positive character strengths that you may not have been aware of. Additionally, you have a chance to take part in a study which allows the contemplation and reminiscing of a truly positive experience and contributing that to the study of psychology in a positive way.
If you have any further questions about the study, please feel free to use the contact information above to email the researcher. Additionally, should you wish to learn more about optimal experience and the flow state, the following literature may be of interest to you:
1. Boniwell, I. (2006). Positive Psychology in a Nutshell. London: PWBC.
2. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2002). Flow: The classic work on how to achieve happiness. 2nd ed. London: Rider.
3. Seligman, M.E.P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14.
Click the button below if you have understood the above information agree to voluntarily participate and are over the age of 18 years.