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ERIC Number: ED264028
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Play: The Reversal Theory Perspective.
Kerr, J. H.
The intention of this theoretical paper is to present a reversal theory interpretation of play phenomena. Reversal theory, a developing theory in psychology, concerns the complex relationship between experience and motivation. One of the central charactieristics of the theory is that it attempts to understand why so much of human behavior is apparently unrelated to biological needs. Play is an example of such biologically gratuitous behavior, because it cannot be regarded as imperative for survival. From the standpoint of structural phenomenology, the theory of psychological reversals conceptualizes a number of bi-stable, meta-motivational states which exist as paired opposites. Individuals are considered to be in one or the other of the opposed meta-motivational states at any one time. As the name of the theory implies, reversals from one meta-motivational state to another are possible. One of these pairs, the so-called telic and paratelic meta-motivational pair, is important with respect to play because the behavior characteristics usually associated with the paratelic state are closely aligned with those described by other observers of informal play activities. On occasion, however, especially with more formalized play activities associated with contemporary sport, a telic orientation becomes apparent. This paper expands on the association between playful behavior and meta-motivational state, referring to examples from everyday experience and the views of other play theorists. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A