Darian F Stapleton

Darian F Stapleton

Darian F Stapleton

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Video Games, Creativity Development, Creativity Measurement Psychology of the Arts

I am a fourth year PhD student in the Play, Learning, Arts, and Youth Lab. Previously I got my bachelor's at Washington & Jefferson College with majors in Psychology and Studio Art, and an Art History minor. I also completed a summer internship at the Cognition, Affect, and Temperament Lab at Penn State University. My research focuses the effects of video games on children's creativity, children's creativity within video games, and the use of video games for creativity measurement. 

Current Research

Master's Thesis: Comparing different types of video games in their ability to prime creativity in young children, asking children to rate the creativity of other children's gameplay


Theoretical taxonomy of varying video game components for application in creativity research


Dissertation: Development of a machine learning model to rate the creativity of images from the video game Pokemon Snap


Courses Taught

Psychology 301 Research Methods Lab

Principles of Learning

Lifespan Development

Psychology of Intimate Relationships

Psychology of Creativity and Innovation


B.A. from Washington & Jefferson College

Recent Presentations

Stapleton, D., Goldstein, T.R. (2023, August). Children's Understanding of Creativity: How Children Rate Creativity in Video Games. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association 2023 annual conference, Washington D.C.


Stapleton, D., Goldstein, T.R. (2023, March). The effects of game structure on video game and cognitive creativity in children. Presented as part of the symposium Building on divergent thinking: Expanding approaches to measuring children’s creativity, at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT. 


Stapleton, D. (2022, August). Video Game Creativity in Sandbox and Narrative Games. Talk presented for the Division 10 Student Showcase at the American Psychological Association 2022 annual conference, Minneapolis, MN.


Stapleton, D., Cruz, K., Kanumuru, P., Thompson, B., Goldstein, T.R. (2021, April). The Role of Embodiment and Fantasy Judgments in Learning from Pretend Play. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.