An investigation of flow and IZOF utilization of FSS-2
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When challenge and skill are perfectly balanced, frequently this experience is described as flowing or being in the zone. This relationship describing this optimal zone has been studied in the flow theory. This optimal zone has also been investigated similarly in terms of the relationship of performance and arousal in the individual zone of optimal functioning (IZOF) theory. These two theories, although seemingly describing the same phenomenon, have yet to be combined in study of this phenomenon.This study primarily attempted to test the correlation of flow and IZOF theories by combining respective instrumentation and methodology. This investigation was based on the combining of flow instrumentation, the Flow State Scale-2 (FSS-2) with the IZOF methodology, self-report recall data collection. Results indicate the FSS-2 is still internally valid when using IZOF methodology. This suggests the optimal experience described by the flow and IZOF theories may describe the same phenomenon. Subjects were chosen from whitewater slalom athletes based on a convenience sample consisting of athletes participating in an event during summer 2005. Flow is characterized by nine constructs defining the experience. Of these nine characteristics, only one did not display a positive correlation, the transformation of time. This suggests whitewater slalom athletes may not experience the altered perception of time typical of many other optimal experiences.