"Flow" as a Testing Ideal

"In our studies, we found that every flow activity... provides a sense of discovery, a creative feeling of transporting the person into a new reality." (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Harper & Row, 1990 p.74)

Csikszentmihalyi describes how human activities often comprise two opposing components, which, in the Diagram are characterized as Challenges and Skills. So long as the level of challenge facing the player of a game is in rough accord with the level of the player's skill, then the player will experience a "sense of discovery", or even a "previously undreamed-of state of consciousness" - that is flow. But as the player's skill increases, the player will grow bored. Or when the challenge of the game increases too far beyond the player's skill, frustration will set in. Both boredom and frustration inhibit the flow experience. The motivation towards enjoyment provokes one to desire to balance challenge with skill, and so to induce flow.

Tailored testing can take advantage of the phenomenon of flow to make the testing experience pleasurable and to improve individual performance. Well-targeted items will make the testing situation less irksome, perhaps even enjoyable! Targeting removes items that are too hard, so inducing anxiety, and those that are too easy, so inducing boredom. Psychometrically, the better the match between the item's difficulty and the test-taker's ability, the greater the likelihood that the situation will produce accurate measures. After a test that successfully matches item difficulties with test-taker ability, test-takers can leave feeling content that their optimum performance levels have been demonstrated, and test constructors can count on accurate measures. A flow experience for all!

Craig Deville

Flow as a testing ideal. Deville C. Rasch Measurement Transactions 1993 7:3 p.308

Flow as a testing ideal. Deville C. … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1993, 7:3 p.308

Rasch Publications
Rasch Measurement Transactions (free, online) Rasch Measurement research papers (free, online) Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Applying the Rasch Model 3rd. Ed., Bond & Fox Best Test Design, Wright & Stone
Rating Scale Analysis, Wright & Masters Introduction to Rasch Measurement, E. Smith & R. Smith Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Thomas Eckes Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, George Engelhard, Jr. Statistical Analyses for Language Testers, Rita Green
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Journal of Applied Measurement Rasch models for measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences, Boone, Stave, Yale
in Spanish: Análisis de Rasch para todos, Agustín Tristán Mediciones, Posicionamientos y Diagnósticos Competitivos, Juan Ramón Oreja Rodríguez

To be emailed about new material on www.rasch.org
please enter your email address here:

I want to Subscribe: & click below
I want to Unsubscribe: & click below

Please set your SPAM filter to accept emails from Rasch.org

www.rasch.org welcomes your comments:

Your email address (if you want us to reply):


ForumRasch Measurement Forum to discuss any Rasch-related topic

Go to Top of Page
Go to index of all Rasch Measurement Transactions
AERA members: Join the Rasch Measurement SIG and receive the printed version of RMT
Some back issues of RMT are available as bound volumes
Subscribe to Journal of Applied Measurement

Go to Institute for Objective Measurement Home Page. The Rasch Measurement SIG (AERA) thanks the Institute for Objective Measurement for inviting the publication of Rasch Measurement Transactions on the Institute's website, www.rasch.org.

Coming Rasch-related Events
Oct. 6 - Nov. 3, 2023, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com
Oct. 12, 2023, Thursday 5 to 7 pm Colombian timeOn-line workshop: Deconstruyendo el concepto de validez y Discusiones sobre estimaciones de confiabilidad SICAPSI (J. Escobar, C.Pardo) www.colpsic.org.co
June 12 - 14, 2024, Wed.-Fri. 1st Scandinavian Applied Measurement Conference, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden http://www.hkr.se/samc2024
Aug. 9 - Sept. 6, 2024, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com


The URL of this page is www.rasch.org/rmt/rmt73j.htm

Website: www.rasch.org/rmt/contents.htm