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Eureka!: What is innovation, how does it develop, and who does it?

Carr, K.; Kendal, R.L.; Flynn, E.G.

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K. Carr

E.G. Flynn


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.


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

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 5, 2015
Online Publication Date May 31, 2016
Publication Date Oct 1, 2016
Deposit Date Nov 5, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 9, 2015
Journal Child Development
Print ISSN 0009-3920
Electronic ISSN 1467-8624
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 87
Issue 5
Pages 1505-1519


Accepted Journal Article (435 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2016 The Authors. Child development published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Research in Child Development This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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