Semantic distance plays an important role in the creative process: The farther one `moves away’ from a conventional idea, the more creative the new idea will likely be. Although intuitive, the role of semantic distance in creativity has been only indirectly examined due to the challenge of its measurement. Recent studies have started applying quantitative measures of semantic distance in creativity research. Such studies complement standard subjective measures of creativity; provide objective measures of the creative output; and also allow to more directly examine the role of semantic memory, and distance, in creativity. An overview of the main approaches that are being used will be described and the advantages of using such quantitative measures in creativity will be discussed.
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