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An overview of and factor analytic approach to flow theory in online contexts


  • Mahfouz, Ahmed Y.
  • Joonas, Kishwar
  • Opara, Emmanuel U.


An overview of flow theory is presented from the literature across multiple disciplines, including information systems, ecommerce, marketing, digital gaming, user interface, management, and cultural contexts. Flow can play a pivotal role in the user experience and impact the user interaction with a site, computing device, or app. It is worthwhile to examine the effects of flow experience on users and incorporate these findings in designing engaging user experiences and interfaces in both web sites and mobile applications. To further understand these implications, the present study gave a questionnaire to 310 participants in a computer laboratory setting following an online shopping episode. The factor analysis revealed three dimensions of flow experience: control, attention focus, and cognitive enjoyment. All three dimensions had very low correlations. No gender effect on flow was found.

Suggested Citation

  • Mahfouz, Ahmed Y. & Joonas, Kishwar & Opara, Emmanuel U., 2020. "An overview of and factor analytic approach to flow theory in online contexts," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:teinso:v:61:y:2020:i:c:s0160791x1830068x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2020.101228

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. van Noort, Guda & Voorveld, Hilde A.M. & van Reijmersdal, Eva A., 2012. "Interactivity in Brand Web Sites: Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Responses Explained by Consumers' Online Flow Experience," Journal of Interactive Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 223-234.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barta, Sergio & Flavián, Carlos & Gurrea, Raquel, 2021. "Managing consumer experience and online flow: Differences in handheld devices vs PCs," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    2. Lew, Susan & Tan, Garry Wei-Han & Loh, Xiu-Ming & Hew, Jun-Jie & Ooi, Keng-Boon, 2020. "The disruptive mobile wallet in the hospitality industry: An extended mobile technology acceptance model," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    3. Zhang, Yihan & Li, Kai & Qian, Chen & Li, Xiaotong & Yuan, Qinjian, 2024. "How real-time interaction and sentiment influence online sales? Understanding the role of live streaming danmaku," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).

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