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This experimental proposal examined the immediate effects of imaginative play on the creativity of fifty adults (ages 18-65) and fifty children (ages 6-10). Both children and adults were randomly assigned to an experimental group (Group A) or a control group (Group B). After arriving at the lab, all participants, regardless of age or group, completed the Alternate Uses test for the first time. Those in Group A were individually taken into an empty room that contained a table and a chair. On the table there were three toys (a small dollhouse, a Calico Critters treehouse, and a Lego fire station). Participants were strongly encouraged to play by the researchers, and given twenty minutes to do so. Adults in Group B were given twenty minutes to read a positive article, while children in Group B were read to for twenty minutes by a researcher. After either reading or playing, all adult participants completed the Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky, & Lepper, 1999), and all child participants completed a Smiley Face Likert Scale. Then, all participants took the Alternate Uses Test again. As I had hypothesized, participants who played with toys showed a greater increase in their Alternate Uses Test scores than those who read/were read to.
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Sheehan, Poppy Field, "Back to Wonderland: Can imaginative play improve creativity in adults and children within a single session of play?" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 349.
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