Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was Claremont Graduate University’s Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management. He was also the founder and co-director of the Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC), a nonprofit research institute that studies positive psychology, the study of human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility.
Csikszentmihalyi received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Chicago in 1965. He subsequently served as the head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago and of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College.
Csikszentmihalyi was known for his research on the experience of flow, a psychological concept he introduced in his best-selling book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990) as a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play, and work. Csikszentmihalyi wrote numerous books and articles on managing flow, including Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (1996). In 2004, he delivered an influential TEDTalk titled “Flow, the Secret to Happiness.” His research and writings on happiness and creativity also played an important part in the development of positive psychology.