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One-Year-Olds Think Creatively, Just Like Their Parents

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Abstract

Creativity is an essential human ability, allowing adaptation and survival. Twenty-nine 1-year-olds and their parents were tested on divergent thinking (DT), a measure of creative potential counting how many ideas one can generate. Toddlers’ and parents’ DT was moderately to highly correlated. Toddlers showed a wide range of DT scores, which were reliable on re-testing. This is the first study to show children think divergently as early as 1 year. This research also suggests 1-year-olds’ DT is related to parents’, opening up future research into whether this relationship is due to genetics, and/or social learning at its emergence. Understanding DT at its emergence could allow for interventions while neurological development is most plastic, which could improve DT across the lifespan.

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... The apparatus (Bijvoet-van den Berg & Hoicka, 2014;Hoicka et al., 2016;Hoicka, Powell, Knight, & Norwood, 2018) consisted of a colourful wooden box with several different features attached to it (e.g., ledges/blocks attached to one external wall, a small room and stairs inside the box) and five different objects that were intended to be novel to the participating infants (an unusually shaped plastic spatula, a rubber toy, a plastic hook, a metal spiral-shaped egg holder and a shaker; Figure 1). ...
... For the UBT, we used the existing coding scheme (Bijvoet-van den Berg & Hoicka, 2014;Hoicka et al., 2016) and extended some of the descriptions of target actions for clarification. We coded the number of different actions that infants performed using the objects and the box during the five free-play periods. ...
... To determine inter-rater reliability, a second independent coder who was blind to the infants' condition and sleep data independently coded videos of n = 14 infants. Inter-rater reliability was κ = 0.64, comparable to earlier studies using this task (e.g., Hoicka et al., 2016). ...
Article
Higher-order cognitive functions seem particularly vulnerable to disruptions in prior sleep in school-aged children and adult populations. This study tested whether divergent thinking in infants varied as a function of prior sleep. Forty-three infants aged 13–16 months participated in a behavioural assessment of divergent thinking. Length of wakefulness since last sleep was experimentally manipulated. In addition, potential relations between divergent thinking and sleep quantity and quality during the night immediately before the assessment, as well as during three consecutive nights preceding the assessment, were examined using actigraphy recordings in combination with parent diaries. Divergent thinking was not impaired by lack of sleep within the previous 4 h. Divergent thinking was consistently related to night-time sleep quality and quantity prior to the assessment. These results suggest that timing of prior naturally occurring daytime sleep is less relevant for emergent divergent thinking capacity than quality and quantity of preceding night-time sleep.
... More recently, Bijvoet-van den Berg and Hoicka (2014) developed a non-verbal, nonimitative divergent thinking task usable from 1 year (Hoicka et al., 2016). The Unusual Box Test (UBT) is a colourful wooden box with many features (see Figure 1). ...
... For instance, they might hit the edge of the box and then guide an object through the hole. The UBT shows good test-retest reliability in 1-and 2-year-olds (Bijvoet- van den Berg & Hoicka, 2014;Hoicka et al., 2016). It shows convergent validity in 3-and 4-year-olds with two other widely used standard measures of divergent thinking in preschoolersthe TCAM (Torrance, 1981b) and the Wallach and Kogan Tests of Creativity (Wallach & Kogan, 1965). ...
... It shows convergent validity in 3-and 4-year-olds with two other widely used standard measures of divergent thinking in preschoolersthe TCAM (Torrance, 1981b) and the Wallach and Kogan Tests of Creativity (Wallach & Kogan, 1965). Additionally, 1-year-olds' scores on the UBT correlate well with parents' scores (Hoicka et al., 2016) on the widely used divergent thinking measure Thinking Creatively with Pictures (Torrance, 1966). The UBT allows us for the first time to determine whether we can increase divergent thinking in children under 3 years. ...
Article
This study aimed to discover whether 2‐year‐olds can socially learn to think divergently. Two‐year‐olds (N = 22) who saw an experimenter model a high level of divergent thinking on the Unusual Box Test (modelling 25 different actions, once each) went on to demonstrate a higher level of divergent thinking themselves than (N = 22) children who saw a low level of modelling (five different actions, once each), where divergent thinking was measured by the number of different actions children produced that had not been modelled by the experimenter. Additionally, all children in both High and Low Divergence conditions had higher divergent thinking than imitation scores, where imitation involved copying the experimenter's previous actions. This is the first experiment to show that 2‐year‐olds' divergent thinking can be increased, and that 2‐year‐olds do so by socially learning to think more divergently. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject • Recent research found that children as young as 1 year can think divergently, and that this is influenced by parents' own divergent thinking. What does this study add? • This paper is important as it provides the first method to increase divergent thinking in toddlers. It also shows that social learning can directly affect individual learning processes, which suggests current theories of social and individual learning should be revised to be more iterative.
... DT seems to emerge from the earliest stages of life. One-year-old children can already think divergently performing non-verbal and non-imitative DT tasks (Hoicka et al. 2016), even though an early peak in DT seems to appear around the age of 5. Research also underlined a slump at around the fourth grade (see for a review Said-Metwaly et al. 2020), probably due to cognitive and environmental changes. However, the fourth-and fifthgrade children are equally able to produce more original and more appropriate ideas, even though they provide a larger number of ideas, without considering their quality (Claxton et al. 2005). ...
Article
Divergent thinking is widely recognised as an individual creative potential and an essential factor in fostering creativity since the early stages of life. Albeit previous research revealed that creativity could be pursued through controlled mental processes (e.g. reasoning), the debate about the impact of children's reasoning on divergent thinking and, ultimately, creativity is still open. The present study sought to deepen the relationships between probabilistic reasoning and divergent thinking in a sample of 106 Italian children (meanage = 8.64, SDage = 1.34; 58 F). The Beads Task was used to evaluate probabilistic reasoning, whereas the Alternative Uses Task was administered to assess divergent thinking. Results revealed that analytical, slow, and effortful forms of thought underpinned by high probabilistic competencies predict children's divergent production. These findings suggest that a higher score for divergence of thinking depends on a high involvement of reasoning style, which in this study relies on the ability to make probabilistic decisions in ambiguous situations. Future research directions were discussed.
... Twin studies, both in 4-year-old British twins and 18-77-year-old US twins reared apart, have shown that ap-plied creativity and figure drawing have heavy genetic influences, sometimes greater than the environmental effect [16,17]. In toddlers, performance in divergent thinking tests is moderately to highly correlated to the parents' performance, demonstrating that, from early neurodevelopmental stages, the background for creativity is present, either due to genetic influences or the impact of social learning [18]. A common genetic substrate has also been proposed for homosexuality and creativity in theater and writing, as this association was found in Swedish twins [19]. ...
Article
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Creativity, art and artistic creation in music, dance and visual arts are brain activities specific to humans. Their genetic background remained unexplored for years, but many recent studies have uncovered significant associations with cognition-related genes and loci. These studies are summarized in the present article. Creativity is a trait with heavy genetic influences, which are also associated with mental disorders and altruism. Associated genes include dopaminergic, serotoninergic and other genes (a1-antitrypsin, neuregulin, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor). Music is another complex phenotype with important genetic background. Studies in musicians and their families have highlighted the contribution of loci (e.g., 4q22) and specific genes (vasopressin receptor 1α and serotonin transporter). The latter two are also associated with dancing. Although few studies have investigated visual arts, they appear to be influenced by genetic differences, which could explain the increased prevalence of synesthesia in artists and individuals with autism. Lastly, although genes play an important role in creativity and art, epigenetics and the environment should not be overlooked. The genetic exploration of artistic creativity may provide useful knowledge on cognition, behavior and brain function. It may also enable targeted and personalized art therapy in health and disease.
... 随着年龄的增长, 儿童渐渐能够独立 地对已有表象进行加工, 想象中创造性的成分慢慢增 多, 精细性逐渐提高 [1] . 学龄前儿童的发散思维能力已 在萌芽, 他们往往拥有天马行空的想象力, 能够创造出 新词汇和新游戏 [7,8] . ...
... Even though one-and two-year-old children are already able to think divergently (Bijvoet-van den Berg and Hoicka 2014; Hoicka et al. 2016) and also the serial order effect has been confirmed to occur in childhood (Ward 1969), DT as a process that unfolds in real time is not well understood in children. To begin to unravel this issue, we previously conducted a detailed analysis of domain-specific processes occurring during a DT task, the Alternative Uses Task (AUT), in four-year-olds (Bai et al. 2021). ...
Article
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This study examined the unfolding in real time of original ideas during divergent thinking (DT) in five- to six-year-olds and related individual differences in DT to executive functions (EFs). The Alternative Uses Task was administered with verbal prompts that encouraged children to report on their thinking processes while generating uses for daily objects. In addition to coding the originality of each use, the domain-specific DT processes memory retrieval and mental operations were coded from children’s explanations. Six EF tasks were administered and combined into composites to measure working memory, shifting, inhibition, and selective attention. The results replicated findings of a previous study with the same children but at age four years: (1) there was a serial order effect of the originality of uses; and (2) the process mental operations predicted the originality of uses. Next, the results revealed that both domain-general EFs and domain-specific executive processes played a role in the real-time unfolding of original ideas during DT. Particularly, the DT process mental operations was positively related to the early generation of original ideas, while selective attention was negatively related to the later generation of original ideas. These findings deepen our understanding of how controlled executive processes operate during DT.
... Divergent thinking (DT) is defined as a thought process or thinking method used towards exploring multiple solutions (Wang, Hao, Ku, Grabner, & Fink, 2017) and is of particular importance for creativity as it enables individuals to think in multiple directions (Charles & Runco, 2001;Kuhn & Holling, 2009). Research on DT to date has shown that even one-and two-year-old children are already able to think divergently (Bijvoet-van den Berg & Hoicka, 2014;Hoicka et al., 2016). Studies on somewhat older children have focused mainly on describing the developmental level of DT at a certain age or over time (Barbot, Lubart, & Besançon, 2016;Gralewski, Lebuda, Gajda, Jankowska, & Wiśniewska, 2017;Krampen, 2012;Torrance, 1968). ...
Article
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The present study examined the divergent thinking (DT) processes of four-year-old children. Following a similar approach used in a study with adults, children were encouraged to report on their thinking processes through interactive dialogues while performing a widely used DT task, the Alternative Uses Task (AUT). Content analysis of children’s utterances revealed that children generated uses mostly based on automatic, bottom-up associative processes and occasionally based on effortful, top-down executive processes. Using (multilevel) regression analysis, we found that (1) both associative and executive DT processes predicted children’s fluency scores on the AUT, whilst only the executive DT process Performing mental operations on the stimulus uniquely predicted originality; (2) children at the age of four years already showed a serial order effect in the originality of their responses, indicating that the originality of uses increased the later a particular use was generated in the series of mentioned uses; and (3) similar serial order effects characterized the occurrence of executive processes. These results suggest that increasing originality depends on increasing involvement of effortful executive processes. Especially the executive process of mentally isolating properties or parts of objects and the subsequent recombination of these parts and properties into a new structured whole might be a key characteristic of DT to generate original ideas.
... Table 1 summarizes extant movement-based divergent thinking assessments for young children. The Unusual Box Test (Bijvoet-van den Berg & Hoicka, 2014) has been used to measure divergent thinking ability in toddlers as young as one year of age (Hoicka et al., 2016). This test relies heavily on movement skills, as children are asked to manipulate objects within the box, engaging in various free-play activities that are later coded for distinct actions and divergent thinking (Bijvoet-van den Berg & Hoicka, 2014). ...
Article
The controlled measurement of creative potential in early childhood is imperative for researchers seeking to fully understand the initial emergence and development of creativity. Evidence for original ideation has been demonstrated in infants as young as one year old, through their performance of movement-based, interactive creativity tasks. In this focused review of developmental research, we suggest that embodied movements and interactive play may uniquely facilitate creative thinking in early childhood (i.e., from birth to age six). From this review, we propose that embodied movement reinforces physical interactions that influence cognitions underlying creative behavior. Embodied creativity may supplement traditional creativity measures, as young children may be more inclined to represent their inner thoughts and experiences through movement rather than through language alone. Thus, we explored the importance of embodied creativity as a means of informing current researchers about the development of creativity, and we suggest future experimental research in this area.
... Table 1 summarizes extant movement-based divergent thinking assessments for young children. The Unusual Box Test (Bijvoet-van den Berg & Hoicka, 2014) has been used to measure divergent thinking ability in toddlers as young as one year of age (Hoicka et al., 2016). This test relies heavily on movement skills, as children are asked to manipulate objects within the box, engaging in various free-play activities that are later coded for distinct actions and divergent thinking (Bijvoet-van den Berg & Hoicka, 2014). ...
Article
A growing body of experimental work highlights the potential value of unstructured, interactive, or spontaneous motions, including gestures, dance, shifting body postures, physical object‐manipulation, drawing, etc. to favorably impact creative performance. However, despite these favorable findings, to our knowledge, no systematic review has been conducted to explore the totality of evidence for embodied activities in this arena. Thus, the objective of this paper was to systematically evaluate the potential effects of embodied experimental manipulations on traditionally assessed creativity outcomes. A systematic review was conducted utilizing PubMed, PsychInfo, Sports Discus, and Google Scholar databases. The 20 studies evaluated employed a variety of methodological approaches regarding study design, embodied manipulation, and selection of specific creativity outcomes. Despite these variations, embodied movement robustly enhanced creativity across nearly all studies (90%), with no studies showing a detrimental effect. Based on the evaluation of the studies reviewed, several common themes emerged. These included the relevance of symbolic metaphors and distributed embodied cognitions, selection of embodied modality, specific measurement considerations, as well as the importance for implementing true, inactive control conditions in embodied creativity research. This review expands on these findings and places them in the context of improving future embodied creativity research.
... Kreativita dieťaťa je, zdá sa, vo veľkej miere ovplyvnená kreativitou rodiča. Skúmajú sa genetické faktory (polymorfizmy génov pre dopamínový transportér, katechol-O-metyltransferázu, D2 a D4 receptor, či gén pre tryptofán hydroxylázu), ako aj vplyv sociálneho učenia na úspešnosť v testoch divergentného myslenia u detí (Hoicka and al., 2016). Ukazuje sa, že početnosť a štruktúra rodiny, interakcie medzi rodičom a dieťaťom, očakávania a nároky rodiča na dieťa môžu výrazne súvisieť s tvorivosťou dieťaťa a že partikulárne pôsobenie týchto faktorov vedie napríklad k vyššiemu skóre kreativity u jedináčikov v porovnaní s kreativitou u súrodencov (Yang et al., 2017). ...
Chapter
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Kreativita je vlastnosť, ktorá umožňuje vytvárať niečo nové a hodnotné pre jedinca alebo pre spoločnosť. Tradičná psychopatológia sa v minulosti o kreativite zmieňovala len okrajovo, hoci ide o relatívne stálu osobnostnú črtu, ktorá môže byť výrazne modulovaná všetkými psychickými funkciami. V texte ponúkame základné východiská pre definíciu kreativity, jej vývojové a psychopatologické aspekty, až po snahu postihnúť neurobiologické faktory v jej pozadí.
... DT seems to emerge from the earliest stages of life. One-year-old children can already think divergently performing non-verbal and non-imitative DT tasks (Hoicka et al. 2016), even though an early peak in DT seems to appear around the age of 5. Research also underlined a slump at around the fourth grade (see for a review Said-Metwaly et al. 2020), probably due to cognitive and environmental changes. However, the fourth-and fifthgrade children are equally able to produce more original and more appropriate ideas, even though they provide a larger number of ideas, without considering their quality (Claxton et al. 2005). ...
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Fantasy orientation (FO) in childhood has previously been investigated in binary terms, with play being categorised as fantastical or not. This study examined the relation between FO and creativity by considering FO on a linear-type scale, with 0 = reality-oriented (e.g., playing basketball), 1 = possible fantasy (e.g., having a pretend tea party), 2 = improbable fantasy (e.g., pretending an alligator is hiding under the bed), and 3 = impossible fantasy (e.g., pretending to be a unicorn). Seventy-two 4- to 7-year-old children completed verbal, physical, and artistic creativity tests, and an FO interview. FO was only positively related to physical creativity when measured in binary terms. However, it positively related to both verbal and physical creativity when measured using the four-point scale, although, FO remained unrelated to artistic creativity. Future work could use this more nuanced coding of children’s FO to explore further the potential relations between FO and creativity.
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ABSTRACT This study examines ,the relationship between creativity and tolerance of ambiguity. Participants were parents and their adolescent children. Three measures ofcreativity were used: adivergent thinking task, a story-writing task and a self-evaluation of creative attitudes and behavior. Participants completed,two self-report measures,of tolerance of ambiguity: the short version of the “Measurement of Ambiguity Tolerance” (Norton, 1975; Zenasni & Lubart, 2001) and the “Behaviour Scale of Tolerance/Intolerance for Ambiguity” (Stoycheva, 1998, 2003). Tolerance of ambiguity ,was significantly and positively related to creativity. Creativity of parents was related to their adolescents’ creativity. However, parents’ tolerance of ambiguity was not related to adolescents’ tolerance of ambiguity or creativity.
Article
Two studies were conducted to examine infants’ ability to discern intentions from lexical and prosodic cues. Two groups of 14–18-month-olds participated in these studies. In both studies, infants watched an adult perform a sequence of two-step actions on novel toys that produced an end-result. In the first study actions were marked intentionally with both lexical and prosodic cues. In the second study, the lexical markers of intention were presented in Greek, thus providing infants with prosodic but not lexical cues. In both studies, infants reproduced more intentional than accidental actions, suggesting that infants can infer intentions from prosodic cues.
Article
This article updates information about the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) by reporting on predictive validity data from the most recent data collection point in Torrance’s longitudinal studies. First, we outline the background of the tests and changes in scoring over the years. Then, we detail the results of the analyses of the 40-year follow-up on the TTCT resulting in a structural equation model, which demonstrates the validity of the TTCT for predicting creative achievement 40 years after its administration. Finally, we provide a rationale for the relevance of the test in schools today.
Article
A patterns task consisting of six stimuli, three presented in two-dimensional form and three presented in three-dimensional form were administered to 47 preschool children. The three-dimensional patterns task generated a greater number of responses than the two-dimensional task. Moreover, the two-dimensional task was related to intelligence whereas the three-dimensional task was not. In the second phase of the study the greater fluency elicited by the three-dimensional pattern task was found to be a function of the added dimension and not of the specific stimuli used. The implications of the findings for Mednick's response hierarchy formulation and the creativity-intelligence distinction are discussed. The findings demonstrate the importance of developing measures of original thinking which are specifically appropriate for use with preschool children.
Article
A six-week sciencing programme, directed at stimulating exploratory play, was implemented with 2- and 3-year-olds in a day-care centre. The core of the programme consisted of guided play with children in the centre's sandpit. The effectiveness of the programme was determined with ecologically valid methods consisting of pre- and post-observations of children's exploratory behaviour during free sandpit play in the experimental group as well as in a control group. A systematic observation scheme for exploratory play, the Exploratory Play Scale, was used for this purpose. The experimental group showed an increase in level of exploratory play from pre- to post-observations, while the control group did not. This study shows that a small-scale sciencing programme can have an effect on children's level of free exploratory play.
Article
The effects of prior group discussion on individual creativity were examined in two experiments using male and female undergraduates. In Experiment 1, Ss (N = 179) who responded after group discussion produced more responses, but the overall group divergent production was reduced. Ss seemed to be copying each other's responses, but the group discussion led to a lower total number of different responses being produced by the group than by a comparable number of individuals working alone. In Experiment 2, Ss (N = 44) who received a prior group discussion experience performed more creatively on a subsequent divergent thinking test.
Article
This research monograph on the antecedents and correlates of creativity in school-aged children discusses implications of measures of intelligence versus measures of creativity and attempts an interpretation of the psychological requirements for creative products in children. Harvard Book List (edited) 1971 #624 (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Creative individuals have been described in terms suggestive of greater automatic processing (e.g., defocused attention, looser associations) and greater controlled processing (e.g., greater abilities to focus while working on a creative task). Both views cannot be correct from a static ability-related perspective. On the other hand, both views could be correct if creative individuals are better able to modulate the functioning of their cognitive control system in a context-sensitive manner. The present study (N = 50) assessed individual differences in creativity in terms of original responses on the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (Torrance, 1974) and also in terms of creative behavior on the Creative Achievement Questionnaire (Carson, Peterson, & Higgins, 2005). The same participants performed a color word Stroop task. Creative individuals were neither more nor less capable of overriding cognitive conflicts on incongruent (relative to congruent) Stroop trials. On the other hand, creative individuals displayed more flexible cognitive control, as defined by greater cognitive control modulation from trial to trial. Implications for theories of creativity and its underlying processing basis are discussed.
Article
In this paper, we introduce the Exploratory Behavior Scale (EBS), a quantitative measure of young children's interactivity. More specifically, the EBS is developed from the psychological literature on exploration and play and measures the extent to which preschoolers explore their physical environment. A practical application of the EBS in a science museum is given. The described study was directed at optimizing parent guidance to improve preschoolers' exploration of exhibits in science center NEMO. In Experiment 1, we investigated which adult coaching style resulted in the highest level of exploratory behavior at two exhibits. In Experiment 2, we investigated whether informing parents about an effective way of coaching influenced preschoolers' exploratory behavior at two exhibits. The results of the study demonstrate the added value of the EBS in visitor behavior research: compared to existing global measures of visitor interactivity; the EBS adds information about the quality of the hands-on behavior. Compared to existing detailed measures of visitor interactivity, the EBS has the advantage of being applicable in different museum settings and enabling comparisons between exhibits or exhibitions. In addition, the EBS allows for quantification of unanticipated behavior. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed94:794–809, 2010
Article
Working memory (WM) encompasses both short-term memory (storage) and executive functions that play an essential role in all forms of cognition. In this study, the genetic structure of storage and executive functions engaged in both a spatial and verbal WM span task is investigated using a twin sample. The sample consists of 143 monozygotic (MZ) and 93 dizygotic (DZ) Japanese twin pairs, ages 16 to 29 years. In 155 (87 MZ, 62 DZ) of these pairs, cognitive ability scores from the Kyodai Japanese IQ test are also obtained. The phenotypic relationship between WM and cognitive ability is confirmed (r = 0.26–0.44). Individual differences in WM storage and executive functions are found to be significantly influenced by genes, with heritability estimates all moderately high (43%–49%), and estimates for cognitive ability comparable to previous studies (65%). A large part of the genetic variance in storage and executive functions in both spatial and verbal modalities is due to a common genetic factor that accounts for 11% to 43% of the variance. In the reduced sample, this common genetic factor accounts for 64% and 26% of the variance in spatial and verbal cognitive ability, respectively. Additional genetic variance in WM (7%–30%) is due to modality specific factors (spatial and verbal) and a storage specific factor that may be particularly important for the verbal modality. None of the variance in cognitive ability is accounted for by the modality and storage genetic factors, suggesting these may be specific to WM.
Article
This study explored infants' ability to discriminate between, and their tendency to reproduce, the accidental and intentional actions of others. Twenty 14- through 18-month-olds watched an adult perform a series of two-step actions on objects that made interesting results occur. Some of the modeled actions were marked vocally as intentional (“There!”), some were marked vocally as accidental (“Woops!”). Following each demonstration, infants were given a chance to make the result occur themselves. Overall, infants imitated almost twice as many of the adult's intentional actions as her accidental ones. Infants before age 18 months thus may understand something about the intentions of other persons. This understanding represents infants' first step toward adult-like social cognition and underlies their acquisition of language and other cultural skills.
Article
Thirty- and 36-month-old English speakers' (N = 106) ability to produce jokes, distinguish between humorous and sincere intentions, and distinguish between English- and foreign-language speakers, was examined in two tasks. In the Giving task, an experimenter requested one of two familiar objects, and a confederate always gave her the wrong object. In the Naming task, the confederate mislabeled familiar objects. In the English-speaking conditions, the confederate laughed after doing the wrong thing (English-Humor) or said, 'There!' (English-Sincere). In the Foreign conditions, the French- or Italian-speaking confederate laughed (Foreign-Humor) or said, 'D'accord!' or 'Va bene!' (Foreign-Sincere). When preschoolers were subsequently requested to give and name the same objects and a new set of familiar objects they were significantly more likely to imitate and 'do the wrong thing' in the Humor versus Sincere, and in the English versus Foreign conditions.
We implemented a problem-solving task in which groups of participants simultaneously played a simple innovation game in a complex problem space, with score feedback provided after each of a number of rounds. Each participant in a group was allowed to view and imitate the guesses of others during the game. The results showed the use of social learning strategies previously studied in other species, and demonstrated benefits of social learning and nonlinear effects of group size on strategy and performance. Rather than simply encouraging conformity, groups provided information to each individual about the distribution of useful innovations in the problem space. Imitation facilitated innovation rather than displacing it, because the former allowed good solutions to be propagated and preserved for further cumulative innovations in the group. Participants generally improved their solutions through the use of fairly conservative strategies, such as changing only a small portion of one's solution at a time, and tending to imitate solutions similar to one's own. Changes in these strategies over time had the effect of making solutions increasingly entrenched, both at individual and group levels. These results showed evidence of nonlinear dynamics in the decentralization of innovation, the emergence of group phenomena from complex interactions of individual efforts, stigmergy in the use of social information, and dynamic tradeoffs between exploration and exploitation of solutions. These results also support the idea that innovation and creativity can be recognized at the group level even when group members are generally cautious and imitative.
Article
Motivated by computational analyses, we look at how teaching affects exploration and discovery. In Experiment 1, we investigated children's exploratory play after an adult pedagogically demonstrated a function of a toy, after an interrupted pedagogical demonstration, after a naïve adult demonstrated the function, and at baseline. Preschoolers in the pedagogical condition focused almost exclusively on the target function; by contrast, children in the other conditions explored broadly. In Experiment 2, we show that children restrict their exploration both after direct instruction to themselves and after overhearing direct instruction given to another child; they do not show this constraint after observing direct instruction given to an adult or after observing a non-pedagogical intentional action. We discuss these findings as the result of rational inductive biases. In pedagogical contexts, a teacher's failure to provide evidence for additional functions provides evidence for their absence; such contexts generalize from child to child (because children are likely to have comparable states of knowledge) but not from adult to child. Thus, pedagogy promotes efficient learning but at a cost: children are less likely to perform potentially irrelevant actions but also less likely to discover novel information.
Article
The present work investigated the effect of modelling on children's pretend play behaviour. Thirty-seven children aged between 27 and 41 months were given 4 min of free play with a dollhouse and associated toy props (pre-modelling phase). Using dolls, an experimenter then acted out a series of vignettes involving object substitutions, imaginary play and attribution of properties. Children were subsequently provided with an additional 4 min free play (post-modelling phase). Consistent with past research, more pretence was exhibited after modelling than before. Furthermore, in the post-modelling phase, children were as likely to generate their own novel pretence as they were to copy the actions demonstrated by the experimenter. They also increased the number of novel symbolic acts involving imaginary play from the pre- to the post-modelling phase. This study highlights how young children will not only imitate a model's demonstration of pretend acts but also use this demonstration to catalyze the creation of their own pretence. Copyright (C) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the potential association between the S (short) and L (long) alleles of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene and verbal and figural creative ability. Sixty-two unrelated Caucasian university students (29 men and 33 women) participated in the experiment. The results showed a significant association between verbal and figural creativity scores and the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism. The subjects with S/S and L/S genotypes demonstrated higher verbal creativity scores in comparison with the L/L genotype carriers. The carriers of S/S genotype demonstrated also higher figural creativity scores in comparison with the carries of L/S and L/L genotypes. Thus, it is the first report on a significant association between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and creative achievements. As the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism is associated with genetically defined alteration in the brain serotonergic neurotransmission our result provides an evidence of the involvement of the central serotonin system in creativity regulation.
Article
The present research set out to investigate the possibility of a genetic component in creative ability The pool of subjects for this study consisted of 117 pairs of twins, 13–19 years of age, divided into 28 pairs of identical males, 19 pairs of fraternal males, 35 pairs of identical females, and 35 pairs of fraternal females. A battery of ten creativity tests, including five developed by Guilford, and one measure of verbal intelligence were administered to each subject. The majority of intraclass correlations for both the monozygotic and dizygotic twins on the 11 measures attained statistical significance, with the correlations tending to be somewhat higher in the identical twin groups. When the intrapair variances of the identical and fraternal twins were contrasted directly on the various tests, there were few statistically significant results. Intercorrelations between the 11 tests compared two at a time revealed higher correlations in the monozygotic group, indicating a somewhat more consistent performance from test to test. The overall results, however, failed to provide convincing evidence of a genetic component in creativity.
Article
Working memory (WM) encompasses both short-term memory (storage) and executive functions that play an essential role in all forms of cognition. In this study, the genetic structure of storage and executive functions engaged in both a spatial and verbal WM span task is investigated using a twin sample. The sample consists of 143 monozygotic (MZ) and 93 dizygotic (DZ) Japanese twin pairs, ages 16 to 29 years. In 155 (87 MZ, 62 DZ) of these pairs, cognitive ability scores from the Kyodai Japanese IQ test are also obtained. The phenotypic relationship between WM and cognitive ability is confirmed (r = 0.26-0.44). Individual differences in WM storage and executive functions are found to be significantly influenced by genes, with heritability estimates all moderately high (43%-49%), and estimates for cognitive ability comparable to previous studies (65%). A large part of the genetic variance in storage and executive functions in both spatial and verbal modalities is due to a common genetic factor that accounts for 11% to 43% of the variance. In the reduced sample, this common genetic factor accounts for 64% and 26% of the variance in spatial and verbal cognitive ability, respectively. Additional genetic variance in WM (7%-30%) is due to modality specific factors (spatial and verbal) and a storage specific factor that may be particularly important for the verbal modality. None of the variance in cognitive ability is accounted for by the modality and storage genetic factors, suggesting these may be specific to WM.
Article
In 3 studies, young children were tested for their understanding of pretend actions. In Studies 1 and 2, pairs of superficially similar behaviors were presented to 26- and 36-month-old children in an imitation game. In one case the behavior was marked as trying (signs of effort), and in the other case as pretending (signs of playfulness). Three-year-olds, and to some degree 2-year-olds, performed the real action themselves (or tried to really perform it) after the trying model, whereas after the pretense model, they only pretended. Study 3 ruled out a simple mimicking explanation by showing that children not only imitated differentially but responded differentially with appropriate productive pretending to pretense models and with appropriate productive tool use to trying models. The findings of the 3 studies demonstrate that by 2 to 3 years of age, children have a concept of pretense as a specific type of intentional activity.
Article
Studies from behavioral genetics have demonstrated the high heritability of intelligence. However, the endeavor to detect the genes forming the molecular basis of intelligence has been rather unsuccessful until now. Pharmacological studies have demonstrated the influence of the dopaminergic (DA) and the serotonergic (5-HT) system on subcomponents of cognitive functioning, and first studies from molecular genetics have demonstrated that genes related to the DA metabolism are associated with mental abilities. However, candidate genes for creativity have not been identified so far. Therefore, the influence of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (locus: COMT VAL158MET) gene and the dopamine D2 receptor gene (locus: DRD2 TAQ IA) on creativity was tested in addition to a serotonergic gene, TPH1 (locus: TPH-A779C), in a sample of N = 92 healthy Caucasian subjects while controlling for intelligence. Results showed that the DRD2 gene and the TPH gene were both associated with total creativity, explaining 9% of the variance, while COMT was not related to creativity at all. With respect to the subcomponents, the A1+ allele of DRD2 was related to higher verbal creativity as compared to the A1- allele, and carriers of the A allele of TPH1 showed significantly higher scores in figural and in numeric creativity, indicating that the two gene loci discriminate between higher cortical functions according to the organization of cognitive functions in the respective hemispheres.
Social Learning can Increase Divergent Thinking in 2-Year-Olds
  • E Hoicka
  • S Perry
  • J Knight
  • M Norwood
Hoicka, E., Perry, S., Knight, J., & Norwood, M. (2015). Social Learning can Increase Divergent Thinking in 2-Year-Olds.
Child Development Inventory Manual (I. Behavior Science Systems Ed
  • H R Ireton
Ireton, H. R. (1992). Child Development Inventory Manual (I. Behavior Science Systems Ed.). Minneapolis.
Thinking creatively with pictures: Figural booklet
  • E P Torrance
Torrance, E. P. (1966). Thinking creatively with pictures: Figural booklet. : Scholastic Testing Service.
Thinking Creatively in Action and Movement (TCAM)
  • E P Torrance
Torrance, E. P. (1981). Thinking Creatively in Action and Movement (TCAM). Bensenville, IL: Scholastic Testing Service, Inc.