Examining the Relationship Between Metacognition and Anxiety with the Flow Experience

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Kerr, Mikayla
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Flow is described as a state that occurs when an individual is fully engaged in an activity or task, where that person experiences intrinsic motivation to complete the activity because it is perceived as being rewarding in and of itself. The present study sought to examine how anxiety might be related to the flow experience, and if metacognition might moderate this relationship. Forty individuals were asked to play two games of Tetris: the first game was designed to create a mismatch between skills and task demands to increase feelings of anxiety in some participants, and the second game was designed to create a match between skills and task demands to help induce flow. Using this experimental paradigm, the present study was able to provide support for previous correlational research regarding the relationship between anxiety and the flow experience. However, no support was found for the role of metacognitive ability in moderating the relationship between either anxiety and experiences of flow, or anxiety and game performance. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Anxiety, Metacognition, Flow experience, Quantitative research