Central European Journal of Operations Research

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 863–885 | Cite as

Phases of psychologically optimal learning experience: task-based time allocation model

  • Drago BokalEmail author
  • Mitja Steinbacher
Original Paper


Individual’s preferences, learning ability, passion, and perseverance influence which available learning challenges he will choose, for how long he will persist, what emotions will be experienced while working on those challenges and what utility will be gained from these activities. In our approach to this interdisciplinary problem, we build a bridge between time-allocation models developed within utility theory and empirical emotional experience and learning models from psychology by developing a novel task-based time allocation model. As parameters of the model are highly dynamic, we use Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the phase space of observed emotional states with respect to aforementioned individual’s traits.


Flow Grit Utility Task-choice Learning Phase-diagram Monte Carlo simulations 

Mathematics Subject Classification

90B70 97C70 91G60 91B16 



Authors wish to express their thankfulness to Ines Štampar for preparing contour plots and for the assistance with a video abstract, to Aljaž Protić for the assistance with a video abstract (available as a supplementary material to the paper). We are indebted to anonymous referees and participants of the 14th International Symposium on Operational Research in Slovenia for their useful comments and suggestions. Finally, we express our thankfulness to anonymous referees of the Central European Journal of Operations Research for stressing excellent arguments which sharpened the focal points of our paper about rational usage of time and emerging emotions of the practicing agent.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (mp4 59086 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Natural Sciences and MathematicsUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of Business StudiesCatholic InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia

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