Experiencing different cultures enhances creativity

July, 2010

Being reminded of multicultural experiences helps you become more creative in solving problems.

Three experiments involving students who had lived abroad and those who hadn't found that those who had experienced a different culture demonstrated greater creativity — but only when they first recalled a multicultural learning experience from their life abroad. Specifically, doing so (a) improved idea flexibility (e.g., the ability to solve problems in multiple ways), (b) increased awareness of underlying connections and associations, and (c) helped overcome functional fixedness. The study also demonstrated that it was learning about the underlying meaning or function of behaviors in the multicultural context that was particularly important for facilitating creativity.

Reference: 

[1622] Maddux WW, Adam H, Galinsky AD. When in Rome .. Learn Why the Romans Do What They Do: How Multicultural Learning Experiences Facilitate Creativity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin [Internet]. 2010 :731 - 741. Available from: http://psp.sagepub.com/content/36/6/731.abstract

Full text is available free for a limited time at http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/36/6/731

Related News

Following on from research finding that people who regularly play action video games show visual attention related differences in brain activity compared to non-players, a new study has investigated whether such changes could be elicited in 25 volunteers who hadn’t played video games in at least

Genetic analysis of 9,232 older adults (average age 67; range 56-84) has implicated four genes in how fast your

A number of studies have found evidence that older adults can benefit from cognitive training.

Previous research has pointed to a typical decline in our sense of control as we get older. Maintaining a sense of control, however, appears to be a key factor in successful aging.

A small study involving 20 people has found that those who were exposed to 1,8-cineole, one of the main chemical components of rosemary essential oil, performed better on mental arithmetic tasks.

This is another demonstration of stereotype threat, which is also a nice demonstration of the contextual nature of intelligence. The study involved 70 volunteers (average age 25; range 18-49), who were put in groups of 5.

One of the few established cognitive differences between men and women lies in spatial ability. But in recent years, this ‘fact’ has been shaken by evidence that training can close the gap between the genders.

Benefits of high quality child care persist 30 years later

Quarter of British children performing poorly due to family disadvantage

Openness to experience – being flexible and creative, embracing new ideas and taking on challenging intellectual or cultural pursuits – is one of the ‘Big 5’ personality traits. Unlike the other four, it shows some correlation with cognitive abilities.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health news