Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Katerina Hruba 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

Hi! I am soon to be a graduate from Applied Psychology. My interests lay majorly in positive and social psychology. Firstly I concentrated on belongingness and community, specifically after the pandemic. Further, I decided to approach my thesis from the positive psychology perspective of adult playfulness and creativity. I am now very interested to incorporate those two streams and continue with my research and hopefully create a project that will be beneficial to the public wellbeing.

Adult playfulness experiment

This experiment aimed to investigate whether the level of creativity would have an effect on adult playfulness and the fostering of adult playfulness with object-play or reflection. The participants were grouped based on the creativity level (low, high) and then randomly allocated to an intervention group (object-play, reflection). Object-play group was given a toy (monkey noodle) and asked to play with it for any amount of time, every day for a week. The reflection intervention was a partial replication as it was perviously tested by Proyer et al., (2020) to find that it can foster adult playfulness. The participants were asked to reflect on three playful things they have done every day for a week. Both groups were asked to come after a week to be tested on adult playfulness. The results indicated that object-play is as effective as the reflection intervention, however creativity had no effect.

The Effect of Creativity and Object-Play on Adult Playfulness

Adult playfulness (AP) can be fostered through reflection. Trait activation theory (TAT) was proposed in relation to AP interventions and studied particularly in relation to play-cues, which have the capacity to influence AP, as do toys during object-play. Both object-play and AP have been linked to creativity. This study assessed the effects of creativity (high, low), intervention (pre-test, post-test) and intervention type (reflection, object-play) on AP. A quantitative 2x2x2 between-within groups in-person factorial design was employed on a sample of 54 students (applied psychology = 34 other = 20) recruited through snowball and convenience sampling. The creativity was assessed using Alternate Uses Task (AUT), dividing participants into two groups that were further randomly divided into intervention type. A questionnaire of AP was completed in the pre-test (M = 137.79, SD = 2. 365) and after a week, in the post-test (M = 143.89, SD = 2.515). A three-way between-within ANOVA was used to test the hypotheses. Object-play was as significant as reflection and the scores increased in the post-test. The lack of significant interaction between the three contradicts the analysed research. Practical implications discuss the use of object-play as an intervention of AP. The valid use of TAT, diverse scoring methods for AUT, the importance of the present findings to AP and the lack of control over the experiment are discussed.