Exploring the Theoretical Foundations of Playfulness in Computer Interactions

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This paper develops an integrated theory of playfulness in computer interactions using multiple constructs. Although previous researchers have suggested that playfulness in computer interactions should be measured as both a state and a trait, we suggest that fully understanding the relevant constructs involves much more than simply a state-trait measurement issue. We synthesize the literature from social psychology, applied psychology, human resource management, management information systems, and marketing and present a comprehensive model of the network of constructs surrounding playfulness in computer interactions. This model serves to clarify both the trait and state influences on playfulness in computer interactions. Trait influences are captured through the Big Five theory of personality and microcomputer playfulness (MCP), while state influences are captured by flow theory. We encourage research into our model of playfulness in computer interactions with directional hypotheses and a suggested research agenda.