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Article

Serial Order Effect in Divergent Thinking in Five- to Six-Year-Olds: Individual Differences as Related to Executive Functions

1
Department of Pedagogy and Education: Development & Education of Youth in Diverse Societies, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Department of Methodology and Statistics, Utrecht University, Padualaan 14, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2020 / Revised: 5 March 2021 / Accepted: 29 March 2021 / Published: 2 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: divergent thinking; serial order effect; executive functions; selective attention; Alternative Uses Task; five- to six-year-olds divergent thinking; serial order effect; executive functions; selective attention; Alternative Uses Task; five- to six-year-olds
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bai, H.; Leseman, P.P.M.; Moerbeek, M.; Kroesbergen, E.H.; Mulder, H. Serial Order Effect in Divergent Thinking in Five- to Six-Year-Olds: Individual Differences as Related to Executive Functions. J. Intell. 2021, 9, 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9020020

AMA Style

Bai H, Leseman PPM, Moerbeek M, Kroesbergen EH, Mulder H. Serial Order Effect in Divergent Thinking in Five- to Six-Year-Olds: Individual Differences as Related to Executive Functions. Journal of Intelligence. 2021; 9(2):20. https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9020020

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bai, Honghong, Paul P.M. Leseman, Mirjam Moerbeek, Evelyn H. Kroesbergen, and Hanna Mulder. 2021. "Serial Order Effect in Divergent Thinking in Five- to Six-Year-Olds: Individual Differences as Related to Executive Functions" Journal of Intelligence 9, no. 2: 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9020020

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