research steven has been & Is involved In:


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Flow and Creativity

In 2015, we began thinking hard about better ways to evaluate flow’s impact on creativity. Work done by Csikszentmihaly (described in his awesome book Creativity), coupled with independent studies done by Harvard professor Teresa Amabile and University of Sydney professors Allen Snyder and Richard Chi, show that flow can significantly boost creativity and that that heightened creativity seems to outlast the state by a day, sometimes two. But no one has figured out exactly which specific creative skills (i.e., idea generation or problem solving etc.) are impacted the most, nor which triggers are most useful in determining how to trigger a creative flow state. In early 2016, we undertook a giant meta-analysis of 80 different creativity studies to determine what exactly we wanted to measure. Then, in October of 2017, we launched our study. Data is currently being compiled and reviewed, but we’re hoping to have a white paper completed by February 2018. Stay tuned….

Flow and Psychedelics

In December of 2017, in conjunction with Mendel Kalean, a neuroscientist in Robin Carhartt Harris’ lab at Imperial College, London (who you might remember from Stealing Fire, as Robin in the person currently doing the most neuro-imaging work on psychedelics), we’ve launched a comparison study between psychedelics and flow. Our goal is to examine flow triggers in relationship to set and setting (essentially pre-conditions that impact the quality of a psychedelic experience) and to compare the psychological impact of these experiences. We hope to have this paper written by early spring 2018.

Flow and Addiction

In Summer of 2018, in conjunction with researchers in Csikszentmihalyi’s lab at Drucker University, we’re beginning the long journey of trying to tease apart the complicated relationship between flow and addiction.


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Flow and Business Success

In Spring 2018, in conjunction with researchers at Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, we’re going to be launching a survey that drills down into flow’s impact on business success—specifically trying to determine the role flow plays in workplace performance.

The Altered States Economy

This is an ongoing attempt to calculate the amount of money people spend attempting to alter their consciousness. It was originally introduced in Stealing Fire and has since become an open-source research project—meaning your contributions are welcome. If you’d like to help move this project forward, please email us at


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