Norwegian version of this page

The Development of Understanding of Insight and Aha-Experiences in Young Children

There is a difference between the experience of a feeling and the understanding of it in other people. Children four years of age, for example, can experience mixed feelings.

About the project

When a child is in hospital and gets a gift, it can experience sadness for being ill but at the same time glad for the gift. By contrast, young children cannot elaborate on these feelings. When they have to describe the feeling of a child in a situation with both positive and negative sides, the youngest children think that individuals either feel sadness or joy. During a transition period, children believe that feelings oscillate fast from negative to positive and back, but they do not see that humans can have mixed feelings


Based on such findings, we have developed a project that explores insight and Aha-experiences and their understanding in children between age 4 and 8 years. From anecdotal evidence, we assume that children down to the age of 3 years can experience Aha-moments that follow sudden understanding. By contrast, we expect from the research on the understanding of emotions that children at this age have an incomplete understanding of what an insight or Aha-experience includes. 


Our project collects systematic evidence about the lowest age limit a child can experience Aha-moments and follows the course of development of the understanding of insight and Aha-experiences from age 4 to 8 years.


The Research Council of Norway (FRIHUMSAM - Researcher Project) 2019 - 2023.


The project is a collaboration between Department of Psychology (UiO) and Harvard University, USA.

Published Apr. 5, 2019 1:11 PM - Last modified Aug. 9, 2019 11:58 AM