Divergent thinking and Executive functions in children: A developmental perspective based on intellectual capacity


Despite the importance of Executive functions, Divergent thinking, and intelligence in 21st century society, few studies have analyzed these variables in childhood and adolescence. The present study aimed to examine whether Executive functions and Divergent thinking have a developmental perspective and whether these variables predict intelligence. A non-clinical sample of 159 adolescents (78 girls and 81 boys) between 12 and 16 years of age (M=13.29 years; SD=1.17) participated in the study. Three tests were administered: (1) the Ice cream Virtual Reality Test to measure Executive functions; (2) the PIC-J to evaluate Divergent thinking; and (3) the WISC-V to measure cognitive variables. Executive functions were found to be developmental, as was verbal fluency as a creative component. However, only the Executive functions predicted intelligence. These findings provide information about how Executive functions develop and may contribute to helping develop students’ talents. They also highlight the importance of learning more about Divergent thinking.



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This research used Nesplora Executive Functions – Ice Cream to measure various components of Executive Functions and learning in children from 8 years old.


[…] The ecological validity of this test allows EF to be measured, maximizing the predictive value of the real functional performance of the person being evaluated. Nesplora Executive functions – Ice Cream has some special features that make it seem more like an «adaptive» test, therefore it has very good ecological validity, but in addition, all the main test variables show reliability via McDonald’s Omega coefficients of between .85 and .97 (Fernandez et al., 2023).

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Tania Pasarín-Lavín, Trinidad García, Celestino Rodríguez, José Carlos Núñez, Débora Areces (2024). Divergent thinking and Executive functions in children: A developmental perspective based on intellectual capacity, Thinking Skills and Creativity, Volume 51, 101466, ISSN 1871-1871,

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