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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Carr, K., Kendal, R.L. & Flynn, E.G. (2016). Eureka!: What is innovation, how does it develop, and who does it? Child Development 87(5): 1505-1519.

Author(s) from Durham


Innovation is not only central to changes in traditional practice but arguably responsible for humanity's remarkable success at colonizing the earth and diversifying the products, technologies, and systems within it. Surprisingly little is known of how this integral component of behavioral flexibility develops and the factors that are responsible for individual differences therein. This review highlights two primary ways in which the process and development of innovation may be better understood: By emulating the critical advances of animal behavior researchers in examining innovation in nonhuman species and establishing a clearer conceptualization of what is “innovation”. A pathway to innovation is suggested and an innovation classification system offered to aid recognition of its appearance and potential cultural contributions.

School of Education