Positive psychology will honor one of its founders and greatest champions this fall: Creativity researcher Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, has been named the second winner of the biannual Clifton Strengths Prize, a $250,000 award presented by the Clifton Strengths Institute to a scholar whose work advances the science and practice of positive psychology. Csikszentmihalyi will accept the prize at the Gallup World Conference in Omaha, Neb., in October.
Considered an architect of positive psychology along with former APA President Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD, Csikszentmihalyi has studied what makes people happy and creative for nearly 40 years. He is perhaps best known for his notion of "flow," or the state of deep focus that occurs when people tackle challenging tasks that interest them.
"Unlike many academics, Csikszentmihalyi has gone out of the lab and studied people in the real world," says Ed Diener, PhD, president of the International Positive Psychology Association. "He is one the scientists most responsible for furthering our understanding of human strengths and positive functioning."
Csikszentmihalyi was on the psychology faculty of the University of Chicago for 30 years. The prize commemorates psychologist Donald O. Clifton, PhD, an early proponent of positive psychology and the former chairman of the Gallup Organization.
Csikszentmihalyi will also give an invited address at the first World Congress on Positive Psychology, to be held June 18 in Philadelphia. For more information, visit www.ippanetwork.org.