Can Work be Fun? The Effects of Feedback and Need for Cognition on the Achievement of a Flow State

Casey Biggs, The College of Wooster


Research on work motivation and satisfaction has become more popular in recent years in order to help people feel happier and more engaged at work. The present study examined the influence of need for cognition, a term describing individual preferences for learning, and verbal feedback on a state of flow during a puzzle game task. The potential psychophysiological effects of a flow state were also measured via facial electromyography (EMG) while participants engaged in the puzzle task. Need for cognition had a significant effect on the experience of flow in that those who were high in need were more likely to experience flow than those who were low in need for cognition. In terms of work satisfaction, this shows that those who enjoy tasks like problem-solving and complex thinking may be more likely to be satisfied in their work than those who do not enjoy such tasks.