• flow experience;
  • intrinsic motivation;
  • locus of control


The present research addresses the notion that the compatibility of skills and task demands involved in a given activity elicits a flow experience that renders the respective activity rewarding. The study employed an experimental paradigm to document the causal impact of skills–demands compatibility on the emergence of flow and revealed that participants characterized by a strong internal locus of control (LOC) were most sensitive to the manipulation of skills–demands compatibility and experienced flow under conditions of a fit of skills and task demands, whereas individuals with a weak internal LOC did not enter the state of flow. In line with previous findings, this suggests that distinct personality attributes are of critical relevance for the experience of flow to emerge. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.