Our Research

We take a rigorous, multidisciplinary and supremely practical approach to the science and research of peak-performance. At our core, we’re “flow hackers”. The end goal of all of our research is to inform our practices so we can help more people level up in their actual lives.

Flow Hacker Nation

A collection of peak performers over 100,000 strong. We swap notes, share ideas, train together, learn together and go farther faster as a result.
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University of Southern California

Flow & Creativity

In 2018, we completed a 2100-respondent pilot study examining the relationship between Flow & Creativity. Currently, in partnership with Dr. Michael Gervais and neuroscientists at the University of Southern California, we’re underway with a second iteration of this study.

About

We aimed to examine the relationship between the state of consciousness known as “flow” and the creative process. Participants were primed to recall a previous creative experience they’ve had while either "in flow" or "out of flow,” then use this retrospective account to respond to self-report questionnaires about the nature of that experience.

By comparing the self-reported level of creativity in the "in flow" group with the self-reported level of creativity in the "out of flow" group, we hoped to gain a better understanding of the impact of flow on creativity. To that end, five elements of the creative process were examined for their co-expression with flow. Then, a series of flow triggers, or pre-conditions that are known to precipitate the state, were analyzed to discover which of these elements are most strongly correlated with creativity. Finally, natural language responses are analyzed to contextualize the results and provide further insight into the relationship between these two constructs.

Three primary findings arose from this research. First, we found a very clear relationship between increases in flow and increases in creativity. Specifically, a 40 percent increase in the creativity score was found for participants primed to recall a creative experience "in flow" versus those primed to recall an experience "out of flow." Second, out of the nine characteristics of flow, four had a high level of statistical significance with creative experience. These were challenge-skill balance, unambiguous feedback, transformation of time, and autotelic experience. Third, we found that four out of five foundational elements in the creative processes were greatly amplified during flow. These elements were problem construction, idea evaluation, information gathering and category selection.

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Deloitte

Flow & Business Success

In conjunction with Deloitte’s Center of the Edge, we’re conducting a multi-organization analysis of the impact that Flow has on business success, looking most closely at employee engagement.

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About

Research Aims:
This study aims to explore the relationship between flow and business success. Here, business success is measured by combining fiscal metrics, employee engagement, well-being and worker passion metrics. This study will explore whether or not there exists a correlation between an individual’s time in flow and their score on these various measures of business success. The hope is that this research will:

1. Build upon the scant literature on flow in the workplace and pave the way for a more thorough investigation of the topic.

2. Contribute toward improving our understanding of the relationship between flow and a host of other variables such as organizational success, individual performance at work, passion, happiness, and engagement.

3. Provide rationale and proof that this is an area that deserves further study and research.

Study Design:
Given that the relationship between flow states and business success is a largely understudied phenomenon, this work was designed with simplicity in mind.  This study will combine well-established surveys from optimal psychology and organizational psychology to create foundational research in this new domain. The team will calculate the average score from the Short Dispositional Flow Scale questions and, using the body of research supporting this scale, determine a cutoff threshold for when a participant can be said to have a strong tendency to be in flow.  This will be related back to metrics of business success that, like the flow scale, offer well-established footing for this study.

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Imperial College London

Flow & Peak States

An in-depth exploration of the physical, environmental and psychological variables that impact peak experiences, including both Flow states and psychedelic experiences. In partnership with Prof. David Nutt, Dr. Mendel Kaelen and Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris at Imperial College London.

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About

The overarching mission of this study is to improve our understanding of how mental, physical and environmental variables impact peak-experiences.

Simply put this means looking at how a wide span of variables (music, people, surroundings, substances etc) relate to “good” and “bad” psychedelic experiences and powerful flow states.

An improved understanding of these variables will lead to:

1. An increase in the safety, reliability, and quality of the psychedelic experience

2. A better understanding of how individuals can break into a flow state more consistently and easily

Mental, physical and environment al variables have never been tested in this way before. Our research will be the first study in history that examines the impact of external variables on psychedelic experiences and flow states. Our mission is to pave the way for future experimental research and a rigorous understanding of these variables.

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Claremont Graduate University

Flow & Addiction at

Leveraging the comprehensive literature that exists on the neurophysiology of addiction to help decode the neurobiology of Flow. Taking place in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's lab at Claremont Graduate University.

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About

This will be a correlational study examining the relationship between flow and addiction. The flow variables being examined are: typical flow activity, average intensity of flow experienced in the given activity, and dispositional flow proneness. These predictors will be examined for correlations with the following addiction-related variables: type of addiction, substance use (both legal and illicit), and dispositional addiction potential. There is a significant gap in the literature examining the role addiction may play in flow, thus, this research will make a significant contribution to the scientific understanding of the mechanism underlying flow states and autotelic personalities.

The correlational study will examine the relationships between:

1. Flow proneness (i.e. trait flow) and addiction potential.
2. Flow proneness and type of addiction.
3. Intensity of state flow and addiction potential.
4. Intensity of state flow type of addiction.
5. Typical flow activity and type of addiction.
6. Typical flow activity and substance use.

The purpose is twofold. Two address major gaps in the literature and to draw inferences on the neuroscience of flow.

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Google

The goal was to provide a self-selected group the opportunity totrain with principles and practices of peak performance theory. We then validated the efficacy of the intervention with Google as part of its sustainable performance initiatives.

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About

The Flow Dojo is the World’s First Research and Training Center for Flow States. It’s designed to bridge the extreme and the mainstream a place where anyone can safely experience Flow. If The Exploratorium Hands-on Science Museum and Cirque Du Soleil Had A Baby, this would be it. Swap the science for movement, replace paying to be in the audience with playing as a part of the performance. And you’ve got it exactly. We’ve scoured the globe to find the most innovative equipment that let’s anyone experience the rewards of extreme sports without any of the risks. We capture your body-brain data with 360 degree immersive audio/video and real-time biometrics that help drive you into Flow and capture all your body-brain data while you’re there.Until now, if you weren’t a freakishly talented and courageous professional athlete, it’s been foolhardy to chase these sensations- gravity hurts! So We scoured the world for the best kinetic equipment that lets the rest of us safely experience those daredevil sensations when we train, and we’ve connected them to light, sound and biometrics so we can learn as we play…

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