Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Psychologisches Institut » Persönlichkeitspsychologie und Diagnostik » Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch » Proyer

Completed research project

Title / Titel Playfulness in adults: Its definition, basic structure and measurement issues
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Summary / Zusammenfassung Playfulness in adults is an understudied topic in psychology—most certainly in comparison with research in children. In the literature, there is no agreement about its definition and basic structure. The current project aims at (a) a thorough analysis of the basic components of playfulness; (b) the development and evaluation of new measurement instruments; and (c) the formulation of a new definition of the personality trait in adults. The first research aim has been addressed by means of a psycho-lexical approach (Proyer, 2012a, in press-a) and by a joint factor-analysis of seventeen measures for playfulness (Proyer & Jehle, in press). The latter analysis also showed that some of the derived components have considerable overlap with broader personality factors; especially, extraversion and emotional stability. For the second main aim, a short and economic 5-item questionnaire has been developed (Short Measure of Adult Playfulness, SMAP; Proyer, 2012b). This questionnaire assesses an easy onset and high intensity of playful experiences along with a frequent display of playful activities. Further studies will be conducted to support the validity of the SMAP (Proyer, in press; 2012c; 2013ab; Proyer, & Rodden, 2013). Current research focuses on the development and evaluation of a new multidimensional measure of playfulness. Its predictive power in several areas (e.g., subjective well-being, stress-coping, partnership satisfaction, etc.) will be tested. This will be embedded in work to derive a new definition of the trait that focuses on its broader functions (see Proyer, 2011, 2013b) but less so on its relatedness with humor, having fun, or entertainment.
Publications / Publikationen Proyer, R. T. (2011). Being playful and smart? The relations of adult playfulness with psychometric and self-estimated intelligence and academic performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 21, 463-467. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2011.02.003

Proyer, R. T. (2012a). A psycho-linguistic study on adult playfulness: Its hierarchical structure and theoretical considerations. Journal of Adult Development, 12, 141-149. doi:10.1007/s10804-012-9141-7

Proyer, R. T. (2012b). Development and initial assessment of a short measure for adult playfulness: The SMAP. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 989-994. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2012.07.018

Proyer, R. T. (2012c). Examining playfulness in adults: Testing its correlates with personality, positive psychological functioning, goal aspirations, and multi-methodically assessed ingenuity. Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling, 54, 103-127.

Proyer, R. T. (2013). The well-being of playful adults: Adult playfulness, subjective well-being, physical well-being, and the pursuit of enjoyable activities. European Journal of Humour Research, 1, 84-98.

Proyer, R. T. (2014). A psycho-linguistic approach for studying adult playfulness: A replication and extension toward relations with humor. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 148, 717-735. doi:10.1080/00223980.2013.826165

Proyer, R. T. (2014). Perceived functions of playfulness in adults: Does it mobilize you at work, rest, and when being with others? European Review of Applied Psychology, 64, 241-250. doi:10.1016/j.erap.2014.06.001

Proyer, R. T. (2014). Playfulness over the life-course and its relation to happiness: Results from an online survey. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 47, 508-512. doi:10.1007/s00391-013-0539-z

Proyer, R. T. (in press). To love and play: Testing the association of adult playfulness with the relationship personality and relationship satisfaction. Current Psychology. doi:10.1007/s12144-014-9225-6

Proyer, R. T., & Jehle, N. (2013). The basic components of adult playfulness and their relation with personality: The hierarchical factor structure of seventeen instruments. Personality and Individual Differences, 55, 811-816. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2013.07.010

Proyer, R. T., & Rodden, F. A. (2013). Is the homo ludens cheerful and serious at the same time? An empirical study of Hugo Rahner’s notion of Ernstheiterkeit. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 35, 213-231. doi:10.1163/15736121-12341262

Proyer, R. T., & Ruch, W. (2011). The virtuousness of adult playfulness: The relation of playfulness with strengths of character. Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research and Practice. doi:10.1186/2211-1522-1-4

Proyer, R. T., & Wagner, L. (2014). The Signal Function of Playfulness in Adults Revisited: A Replication and Extension in German Speaking Adults. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe Adult Playfulness; Humor; Playfulness; Positive Psychology
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr. René Proyer, PhD (Project Leader)
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Universität Zürich (position pursuing an academic career)
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jan 2011 to Dec 2015