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Tamás Pinczés and Bettina Pikó: Flow and Anti-flow Experiences in the Light of Eysenck Personality Dimensions among Sporting Adolescents and Control Groups

With the many biological changes that take place, adolescence is a highly critical period in an individual’s development into adulthood. During these years, it is essential to familiarize adolescents with values that they can utilize in the future, such as the importance of physical exercise. Besides values, we also develop adolescents’ personality. Apart from the educational and supportive functions of the family, the school is of particular importance as a place of education. The aim of our research was to examine adolescents’ personality traits and the experience of physical exercise as well as to detect differences in correlations between classes with a general curriculum and those specializing in sport in order to maximize the effectiveness of education. Our research was conducted in Debrecen in the first half of 2012. It was the first time we had examined children’s personality traits in secondary schools. Out of a total of 413 participants, 214 children were specialized in sport (52%) and 199 were not (48%). We used a questionnaire focusing on sociodemographic data, children’s personality traits, and flow and anti-flow experience. Based on these data, we can conclude that low neuroticism (emotional stability), the desire to meet society’s expectations and extroversion are especially significant in children’s flow experience. High neuroticism (emotional instability) and impulsiveness are of key importance in the anti-flow experience, but this applies to psychoticism and risk-taking personality traits as well. Evidence shows that the flow experience is more common among athletes, but at the same time they also experience anxiety and impulsiveness more often, perhaps explaining the appearance of anti-flow as well. Our results suggest that teachers should become familiar with their pupils’ personality traits so that they could choose the best methodological approach.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 114. Number 4. 221-236. (2014)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Tamás Pinczés, Bettina Pikó, Debreceni Református Kollégium Általános Iskolája, H–4026 Debrecen, Péterfia u. 1–7.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia