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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • E Hoicka
  • R Mowat
  • J Kirkwood
  • T Kerr
  • M Carberry
  • S Bijvoet-van den Berg
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1105
Number of pages7
JournalChild Development
Early online date7 May 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 9 Sep 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jul 2016


Creativity is an essential human ability, allowing adaptation and survival. Twenty-three 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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