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PhD, University of Chicago; BA, University of Chicago
Author of: A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology (2007); Good Business: Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning (2003); Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (1997); Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (1997); The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millenium (1994); Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990)

Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a pioneer in the field of positive psychology and renowned for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University, as well as Founding Co-Director of the Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC). His books and research publications on creativity, innovation, and happiness are used extensively and cited across many disciplines and professions.

Csikszentmihalyi has contributed groundbreaking work to the understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment, and the notion of flow—a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play, and work—something he began pondering during his childhood in wartime Europe. Born to Hungarian parents in Fiume, Italy (now Rijeka, Croatia) and enduring a childhood amid the chaos of World War II, Csikszentmihalyi found the game of chess to be a diversion from his stressful reality. This eventually led to his groundbreaking work on flow, realizing the possibility of stepping out, at least temporarily, from difficult situations.

The 1990 publication of his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience exposed his work to leaders in government, business, and the arts. Now translated into 15 languages, the book’s concepts have been used by diverse organizations across the world.

Coming to the United States in 1956, Csikszentmihalyi received a doctorate from the University of Chicago before eventually chairing the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College. He returned to the University of Chicago in 1970 and became Chair of its Department of Psychology. He joined the Drucker School of Management at Claremont as Davidson Professor of Management in 1999.

Csikszentmihalyi is a member of the American Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Leisure Studies. He has been a board member of numerous organizations, including the International Positive Psychology Association, which he co-founded. He is highly published and has received many fellowships, honorary degrees, and awards.

Among his highest honors, Csikszentmihalyi received the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary in 2014, the second highest Hungarian state honor. In 2013 he received the Association for Psychological Science’s highest honor, the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award. And in 2011, the Hungarian president presented him with the country’s most prestigious science award, the Szechenyi Prize. Csikszentmihalyi was invited to the KDP Laureate Chapter in 2003.

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