I'm specifically looking for a word that means "leads into more research or further examination".
I was thinking that the word heuristic could mean this, but I'm not sure.
Does anyone know a word a phrase for this?

Here's the way we might use such a word in a sentence:

He read a biography about Thomas Edison and he learned about how inventors think which became a [heuristic] which motivated him to do more research about creativity.

Or, in such a way that it would replace the following kind of an idea:

When you learn to develop video games you have to learn how to draw on the screen which leads you to learn how geometric shapes are mathematical entities which will lead you to learn the math of geometry.

  • If you want a less formal term, you could use springboard. Heuristic can be a noun as well as an adjective, so you could use it here. – John Clifford Mar 14 '16 at 20:43
  • @JohnClifford Oh, you think maybe heuristic can be used that way? I was thinking it was but not sure. – raddevus Mar 14 '16 at 20:46
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    If you expanded the meaning your sample sentence would become "which became a process allowing him to discover or learn something for himself, which motivated him to do more research about creativity" which makes sense to me. – John Clifford Mar 14 '16 at 20:47
  • @JohnClifford 'Heuristic' does not work well here. It refers most specifically to habits or mechanisms (typically in humans) for shortcutting impossibly detailed learning situations, to guide subsequent judgments in real time. The idea relates to the human capacity for detecting useful patterns in a ferociously complex world, reliably enough for most of us not to get randomly killed most of the time. This page outlines this, and this article goes into more depth. – Captain Cranium Mar 14 '16 at 23:03
  • I've accepted the answer to be a duplicate of the other. I was convinced to do this because there is a long discussion about whether or not the word heuristic is the word that best describes this. I tend to think it does since there is no other obviously good word in English to explain the thought of an idea pushing you toward more research. Thanks for all input. – raddevus Mar 15 '16 at 14:27

Here are some possibilities, though it sounds like you may be looking for something more specific:

He read a book about Thomas Edison which inspired him to learn more about great inventors.

The cursory research he did on Edison served as a catalyst for his blossoming interest in science.

A book about John Ledyard's amazing adventures ignited a passion for adventure in his young mind.

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  • Thanks for input. The word I'm looking for is something a bit different. Word Im looking for isn't inspired or ignited simply because I'm looking for something that doesn't necessarily mean the person wants to look up the next thing, but instead is pushed to move to the next subject because they have to understand that subject in order to understand the thing they are working to resolve. I didn't explain that very well in my question and could only think of it because you posted these examples -- your examples lead me to discover more specifics of what I searching for so it was very helpful. – raddevus Mar 15 '16 at 14:37

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