Conceptual models of the playfulness construct: Additive, balanced, or synergistic?
Four conceptual models and measures of adult playfulness were investigated and compared. Each proffers different constitutive dimensions underlying the construct, and argues that the explanation for playfulness lies within the independent or relative contributions of the dimensions, or in their interactive relationship. 646 undergraduate university students with complete data on all four measures, as well as on a self-rated criterion assessment, participated in the study. The findings indicated the extent to which each model was best regarded as an additive, balanced, or synergistic relationship, and further revealed their differential efficacy and predictive power in capturing and elucidating the adult playfulness construct. An alternative model is proposed in which the most powerful predictors are synthesized. Contributions toward an increased understanding of playfulness in young adults were identified from the collation of results and their competing hypotheses, and directions for the trajectory of further research utilizing the conceptual frameworks were presented.