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Orin Davis’s Bio

written by Orin Davis 1 January 2007

Orin Davis

Orin C. Davis is the first person to earn a doctorate in Positive Psychology, which he earned at Claremont Graduate University. His research focuses on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring, and it spans both the workplace and daily life. He runs the Quality of Life Laboratory and is a freelance consultant.

In general, Orin’s research ascertains how people can do and be their best, in terms of their best experiences (flow), their best performances (creativity), developing their best selves (mentoring), and the state in which their best is most accessible (hypnosis). The flow research looks at how people can experience flow more frequently in daily life. Orin’s dissertation was on microflow and making the most of short waiting experiences. The creativity research is about how people engage their creative capacities in work and daily life. Building on a model of mentoring that he designed with Jeanne Nakamura, Orin is working on further developing the model and tracking the mechanisms through which the model promotes better mentoring. Current studies on hypnosis involve what people know about hypnosis and the phenomenology of trance with respect to peak performance.

There are business applications to each of Orin’s research areas, and he has been approached about implementing his research in companies. The microflow research is directly tied to ways in which employees can be more productive and make the most of their time. His creativity research relates both to how people do their best and to finding a fit between workers’ creative capacities and the tasks they do on a daily basis. Multiple companies have approached Orin about designing mentoring programs to develop human capital and increase workforce diversity, particularly in the higher ranks of organizations. A longtime hypnotist, Orin has been asked to speak about using hypnosis and meditation to help people relax, reduce stress, and focus. He has also been asked to speak about positive psychology in organizations, and has written a working paper about why the workplace needs positive psychology.

Orin has been a ballroom dancer, instructor, and DJ for a number of years, and especially enjoys blues and swing. He also plays volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and bridge, whenever he can find a game. Odds are good that you will find him with a cup of coffee or tea, because he is an aficionado of both beverages (and the conversations that occur over cups of them).

Dissertation: Using Waiting Time Well: Toward a Theory of Microflow. Abstract.

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