Oxford Brookes Business School

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  • Kay Weijers

    PhD: Coaching with Frisson

    Business and Management

    Oxford Brookes Business School

    Kay Weijers s16007637

    Mode of StudyPart-Time
    SupervisorsElaine Cox, Adrian Myers
    Research AbstractThis study deals with three related yet distinct categories of extraordinary experience (Allen et al, 2008), commonly termed peak moments which include the three states of peak experience, peak performance, and optimal experience (flow).  The psychological study of peak experience began with the seminal work of Maslow (1968) who was the first to acknowledge and write about the phenomenon, described by him as a meaningful and potentially transformational experience or an altered state of consciousness. Peak performance, meaning exceptional accomplishment, is credited to  Privette (1983), and can be found in activities that seek excellence, episodes of superior human functioning including sport, music and  the creative arts, as espoused by Dewey (1958).The theory of flow is attributed to Csikszentmihaly (1990) who  characterizes flow as total absorption in an activity achieved through intense, focused engagement which is  intrinsically rewarding. Privette (1983) suggests there is an overlap between peak moments which share common characteristics of happiness, enjoyment, fun, pleasure, involvement, positivity, absorption, attention and clear focus. There are reoccurring themes of stillness, timelessness, self-awareness, connection, human achievement, meaning and intuition which embrace all three states. (Privette, 1983, McBride, 2013). Other authors who have been interested in exploring peak moments include Greeley on religion (1974), Dodson on sport (1996) and Green on music (2015). Additionally, a number of studies have been written about peak moments, such as peak performance in music (Marotto et al, 2007), music and peak experiences (Lowis, 1998), peak moments in sport (McInman and Grove, 1991)) and cultivating the peak performance mind-set for workplace excellence (Hallett and Hoffman, 2014).