Mihály Csíkszentmihályi was a popular Hungarian-American psychologist. He passed away on 20 October 2021 at the age of 87. He was the Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. Csíkszentmihályi was also the head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago and of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College. On September 29th, 2023, Google celebrated his 89th birthday. Before his death, he was married to Isabella Selega. Together, they had two sons named Mark Csikszentmihalyi and Christopher Csikszentmihalyi. In this post, we have details about the late Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s children. Keep reading to find out more.
Who Was Mihály Csíkszentmihályi?
Csíkszentmihályi was born on 29 September 1934 in Fiume, now known as Rijeka. He was the third son of a career diplomat at the Hungarian Consulate in Fiume. In 1944, when Csikszentmihalyi was ten years old, one of his two older half-brothers was killed in the Siege of Budapest, and the other, Moricz, was sent to labour camps in Siberia by the Soviets. Decades later, Mihaly and Moricz were reunited in Budapest.
Mihály’s father was appointed Hungarian Ambassador to Italy shortly after the Second World War, moving the family to Rome. When Communists took over Hungary in 1949, Csikszentmihalyi’s father resigned rather than choosing to work for the regime. The Communist regime responded by expelling his father and stripping the family of their Hungarian citizenship.
To earn a living, his father opened a restaurant in Rome, and Csikszentmihalyi dropped out of school to help with the family income. He moved to the United States at the age of 22, working nights to support himself while studying at the University of Chicago. He received a B.A. in 1959 and a Ph.D. in 1965, both from UChicago. He then taught at Lake Forest College, before becoming a professor at UChicago in 1969.
Csikszentmihalyi was noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity but is best known as the architect of the notion of flow and for his years of research and writing on the topic. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world’s leading researcher on positive psychology.
Google Doodle Celebrates Mihály Csíkszentmihályi 89th Birthday
On September 29th, 2023, Google celebrated his 89th birthday. Csikszentmihalyi was noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity but is best known as the architect of the notion of flow and for his years of research and writing on the topic. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world’s leading researcher on positive psychology.
In an interview with Wired magazine, Csíkszentmihályi described flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
Csikszentmihalyi once said: “Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason.” His works are influential and are widely cited.
In his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csíkszentmihályi outlined his theory that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow—a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The flow state is colloquially known as being in the zone or in the groove.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi children: Meet Mark Csikszentmihalyi and Christopher Csikszentmihalyi
Csíkszentmihályi was married to Isabella Selega in 1961. They had two sons together namely Mark Csikszentmihalyi and Christopher Csikszentmihalyi. His son Christopher Csíkszentmihályi was born in 1968. He is an artist and technologist and also an Associate Professor of Information Science at Cornell University. Mark Csikszentmihalyi on the other hand is the chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley.