The ecology of adolescent activity and experience

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Reed Larson, Suzanne Prescott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Twenty-five adolescents reported their daily activities and the quality of their experiences for a total of 753 times during a normal week, in response to random beeps transmitted by an electronic paging device. In this sample adolescents were found to spend most of their time either in conversation with peers or in watching television. Negative effects were prevalent in most activities involving socialization into adult roles. Television viewing appears to be an affectless state associated with deviant behavior and antisocial personality traits. The research suggests the importance of a systemic approach which studies persons' activities and experiences in an ecological context. The experiential sampling method described in this chapter provides a tool for collecting such systemic data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApplications of Flow in Human Development and Education
Subtitle of host publicationThe Collected Works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789401790949
ISBN (Print)9401790930, 9789401790932
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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