The Science Of Fascination

To understand the neurological state of fascination, we conducted interviews with scientists over the course of three years. Here's what we learned.

Fascination Flow

From Renaissance scholars to Sigmund Freud, scholars have used the word fascination to describe the same hypnotic power of persuasion. But fascination is not the same as interest. Fascination is a neurological state of intense focus, one that creates an irresistible feeling of engagement. It's almost the same as falling in love.

When you are fascinated, you are in the moment. You are in the flow. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes this "flow state" 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. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."

Fascinating Fact

Our market research found a surprising link between fascination and income: the higher a person's income, the more likely they are to find their job fascinating.

So what exactly is happening inside your brain when you enter this euphoric state of intense concentration?

Emotionally, you experience fascination as a feeling of confidence and clarity. It's a wellspring. You are calm and focused; your brain enters a semi-euphoric state.

Neurologically, you are literally using less brain power when you are in the fascination flow.


Fascination can be seen through neuroimaging devices.

“50% of the difference between low-performing and high-performing teams is the quality of communication.”
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology