[WWI] Psychology corner

Nigel Rayner nigel at rosnar.demon.co.uk
Sat Jan 29 17:35:05 EST 2005

Hi all,

All this talk of first kits had me thinking back over my long modelling
career. I can't remember my first kit - I made so many of the damn
things who knows what it was. But it was definitely 1/72 and probably
Airfix. Airfix and Revell were my staples. Monogram 1/48 kits were rare
in the UK and only specialist shops had them when I was a kid, so they
were a real treat. I just loved opening cockpits and panels you could
take off. Anyway, after a long gap I've been back for about 7 years and
I was interested to see James' post about the comments of his ex-boss -
this is a childish activity. I could get all serious and talk about it
being historical research mixed with the art of the miniature, but in
some ways that's just trying to cover up the fact that in many ways it
*is* a childish activity. But you know what - I enjoy it. 

Now here's the psychology - I found an article on the web that showed
that people who indulged more in "flow" activities were happier than
those that did not. Now a "flow" activity is basiclally something you do
in which you "lose" yourself, ie you get so deeply involved you lose
track of time. What a great way to describe our hobby. Put some music
on, get the modelling going and I'm "flowing"! So in my view this
explains why people I know who spend much of their time in "childish"
hobbies seem to be more at peace with themslves than those who are
worrying about getting a bigger car and more designer clothes all the
time, but wouldn't sit down and make a model or read a book.

Finally, here's why AMS can be a good thing. Some more about flow (from
Psychology Today) "Flow also happens when a person's skills are fully
involved in overcoming a challenge that is just about manageable, so it
acts as a magnet for learning new skills and increasing challenges." So
AMS is a good thing but you've got to be realistic. We all know that
feeling where the current project becomes a pain instead of a pleasure -
the challenges are too high.

So I feel comfortable in the knowledge that this really is one of the
activities that makes me happy. I'm off to lozenge a DVI!

Cheers (and keep flowing)

Nigel R 

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