The development of creative search strategies

Yuval Hart*, Eliza Kosoy, Emily G. Liquin, Julia A. Leonard, Allyson P. Mackey, Alison Gopnik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


How does creativity develop? Creativity is a multi-faceted behavior and thus it is difficult to find measures for creativity that are both precise and comparable across development. Here, we examine the development of creativity using a “creative foraging” task. The task measures different facets of creativity which we compare between 4- to 8-year-old children and adults. We find that compared to adults, children spend a higher percentage of their search exploring, and their exploitation phases are less efficient. Moreover, children orient their search to a different and smaller region of the search space, but within that space they produce more unique creative products. Lastly, as children grow up, their creative products become more adult-like and their uniqueness decreases. Together, these results suggest that creative search changes across development, in the search strategy employed, in how the space of possibilities is navigated, and in what ideas are ultimately chosen.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number105102
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
YH thanks the ISF (grant no. 3081/21 ). AG thanks DARPA (grant no. 047498-002 ), John Templeton Foundation (grant no. 61475 ), and Templeton World Charity Foundation (grant no. TWCF0434 ). AM Thanks the Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship. EGL thanks NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Children
  • Creative foraging game
  • Creativity
  • Development
  • Exploration-exploitation


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