Principles Of Psychological Assessment

Introduction to Playfulness

Playfulness is a critical and complex concept which is closely associated with understanding the psychological status and functioning of not only children but also adults. According to Proyer and Brauer (2018), playfulness refers to a particular personality trait which is more intricately associated with play as action and contributes to different domains of life related to the adults. This trait is extensively connected with socialization and several other positive aspects. However, Proyer (2017) has also suggested that playfulness should be considered as a variable differing from one individual to the other and this variable make the individuals frame/reframe daily circumstances as entertaining, interesting, or stimulating at different degrees. Therefore, playfulness can be viewed as an individually differing variable rather than a fixed personality trait. Nonetheless, playfulness is a significant aspect as it leads to different valuable and crucial outcomes at many fronts. Proyer (2013) has suggested that playfulness has an immensely importance role in determining the subjective well-being of people by influencing their creativity, performance, academic success, and virtuousness. Moreover, Staempfeli (2007) suggests that playfulness helps individuals to cope with different pressurizing situations and psychological issues in a viable manner. Yu, Wu, Chen and Lin (2007) have also suggested that playfulness helps in determining an individual’s behavior and performance in workplaces. Therefore, the concept of playfulness has a number of practical impacts on people’s lives.

However, this can be noticed that only a handful of studies have been conducted on how the aspect of playfulness is associated with the adults and extensive focus has been given on its association with childhood stage. Therefore, there is a need to address this issue. Moreover, in order to address this issue, there is a need to develop and utilize appropriate research tools that can help in gathering data that would provide greater insights into the issue. However, as playfulness varies from one person to the other and it may also depend on contextual aspects, different researchers tend to utilize different measurement tools and scores. Therefore, there is ambiguity and differences of opinion regarding which tool/questionnaire should be used. In this context, this would be immensely helpful to develop a new playfulness measure tool so that proper outcomes can be yielded.

Nonetheless, the appropriateness and usefulness of such a tool would depend on its validity and reliability. Therefore, the priority should be given to developing the tool and addressing the aspects of validity and reliability. Along these lines, this research aims to examine the reliability and validity of scores on a measure of playfulness. By developing a new measure and testing its validity as well as reliability, this research would aim to find out whether the newly developed measure is helpful for research work on the domain of playfulness in different dimensions. In this way, the findings of this results will help the researchers and scholars to understand how they can examine the domain of playfulness from different perspectives in a viable way. The study will test the following hypotheses:

  1. The new measure is reliable in terms of assessing playfulness by addressing different dimensions.
  2. The new measure is valid in terms of examining playfulness by addressing different aspects of construct validity

The significant parts of this research has been discussed in this paper. The first section introduces the research problem, finds the gap in literature, justifies the need for this study, and outlines the aims. The second section will discuss the methods used in the research in a comprehensive manner. The third section will present the results and discuss them thoroughly for a better understanding.

Method: Principles Of Psychological

The study focused on gaining data from human subjects in order to develop a better understanding of the research issue under focus. The study involved voluntary sampling method in which students enrolled in the course were invited to participate in the study on a voluntary basis. A total of 184 students (response rate = 33%) completed the measures as a part of data collection.

In order to conduct this study, 23 groups of students developed the items by examining Proyer et al.’s OLIW measure and personality measure that have different aspects that could be used in the new measure. After developing the items, an expert (the Unit Chair) selected four items for each facet regarding the construct. These facets include: other-directed, lighthearted, intellectual, and whimsical. This led to the development of a new PLAY measure consisting of 16 items. Apart from this new measure, the participants had to also complete the OLIW measure which included 12 items (these items also addressed the previously mentioned four facets) and Big-Five Factor markers measure which included 35 items (these items addressed five personality traits including extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism). The data collection process was conducted and completed through a Qualtrics survey. The OLIW measure and the new measure used in the survey had potential responses/answers adhering to a 7-item Likert scale for rating. On the other hand, the Big-Five Factor marker measure used a 5-item Likert scale for rating.

The participants were informed through in-class discussions, e-mails, and online module materials regarding the commencement of the survey. The survey was conducted through Qualtrics survey software and hence the students were asked to access the software to complete this survey. Nonetheless, they were also informed that it was not necessary to complete the survey and as a result, the study received only 33% response rate. Despite being a low rate, the number of participants (n = 184) confirmed that the study would be able to gain enough information for the research purpose. It was expected that the students would complete the survey in no longer than 30 minutes and the average time taken for completion was 24 minutes. In order to take the survey, the students were asked to provide their consent regarding their willingness to partake in the study. The, they were asked to proceed with answering the questions or providing responses.

Results: Principles Of Psychological

In order to assess the reliability and validity of the new PLAY measure different kinds of tests were performed to understand whether the measure would lead to better findings if implemented comprehensively in the research studies. The first test was done for testing the internal consistency reliability. Internal consistency is a methodological approach to testing the reliability of a measure or test by examining the extent to which the items included in the measure for a construct are able to produce similar outcomes (Green et al., 2015). In order to address this issue, a Cronbach’s Alpha test was performed. The value of the Cronbach Alpha was found to be 0.757. According to Taber (18418), if the Cronbach Alpha value of a measure turns out to be more than 0.7, it can be considered as acceptable. Therefore, as the Cronbach Alpha value was 0.812, this was confirmed that the new PLAY measure has internal consistency. Nonetheless, it was also observed that the score was adequate for 3 out of the 4 facets. Hence, the scale is partially reliable for testing playfulness in a comprehensive manner. This partially validates the first hypotheses of the study in an effective way. Although the Cronbach alpha value was appropriate, only 3 facets were able to provide adequate values and therefore, the inclusion of the fourth facet would compromise with the overall reliability. Therefore, the results do not establish the first hypothesis in a comprehensive way. The descriptive statistics of the test would help in developing a better understanding of the reliability of the measure and its items.

Table 1: Descriptive Statistics






Std. Deviation

I use playfulness to make social relations

more interesting






I like to travel without

an itinerary






I think it is fun to

solve complex







I tend to find the

humour in strange







I like being playful in

social situations






I am spontaneous






I enjoy solving







I am known for liking

odd and unusual







I find playing with

other people







I do not take life too







I enjoy toying with

thoughts and ideas






My friends describe

me as someone who

has an odd sense of humor






I enjoy bringing

others together

through fun activities






I like to engage in

spontaneous social







I enjoy being

challenged mentally

by problems and







I find enjoyment in

grotesque and

strange situations






Valid N (listwise)



Furthermore, in order to assess the validity of the new PLAY measure, examination of construct validity was carried out. This was observed that the PLAY scores and the OLIW scores had a correlation in the form of convergent validity. This refers to the fact that these two measures are related to each other and hence, it leads to the validity of the PLAY measure to some extent. Nonetheless, in order to develop a better understanding of the new measure’s validity, its correlation with the Big-Five Factor marker measure was also tested. This was found out that the Big-Five Factor marker measure and the new PLAY measure failed to show both convergent and divergent validity. This led to the observation that the scores on the new playfulness measure did not behave as it was initially expected with particular regard to the aspect of validity. Therefore, this finding rejects the second hypothesis too. In this way, this can be stated that the new PLAY measure is partially reliable and valid. Hence, more research and examination needs to be done in order to develop a better understanding of how a new measure can be developed and what it should include.

References for Principles Of Psychological

Green, S. B., Yang, Y., Alt, M., Brinkley, S., Gray, S., Hogan, T., & Cowan, N. (2015). Use of internal consistency coefficients for estimating reliability of experimental task scores. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review23(3), 750–763. doi: 10.3758/s13423-015-0968-3

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 Research1(1), 84–98. doi: 10.7592/ejhr2013.1.1.proyer

Proyer, R. T. (2017). A new structural model for the study of adult playfulness: Assessment and exploration of an understudied individual differences variable. Personality and Individual Differences108(1), 113–122. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.12.011

Proyer, R. T., & Brauer, K. (2018). Exploring adult Playfulness: Examining the accuracy of personality judgments at zero-acquaintance and an LIWC analysis of textual information. Journal of Research in Personality73(1), 12–20. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2017.10.002

Staempfli, M. B. (2007). Adolescent Playfulness, Stress Perception, Coping and Well Being. Journal of Leisure Research39(3), 393–412. doi: 10.1080/00222216.2007.11950114

Taber, K. S. (2018). The Use of Cronbach’s Alpha When Developing and Reporting Research Instruments in Science Education. Research in Science Education48(6), 1273–1296. doi: 10.1007/s11165-016-9602-2

Yu, P., Wu, J. J., Chen, I. H., & Lin, Y. T. (2007). Is playfulness a benefit to work? Empirical evidence of professionals in Taiwan. International Journal of Technology Management39(3/4), 412–429. doi: 10.1504/ijtm.2007.013503

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