STUDY ALERT: Multiculturalism and Creativity

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 22, 2012 in Study Alerts


Multiculturalism and Creativity: Effects of Cultural Context, Bicultural Identity, and Ideational Fluency 

Carmel S. Saad, Rodica Ioana Damian, Veronica Benet-Martınez, Wesley G. Moons, and Richard W. Robins

Today’s diverse society often includes culturally rich environments that contain cues pertaining to more than one culture. These cultural cues can shape cognitive processes, such as creativity. Recent evidence shows that bicultural experience enhances creativity, and that for culture-related domains, this effect is particularly evident among biculturals who blend their two cultural identities. The present study tested whether enhanced creativity among more blended biculturals was due to increased idea generation (i.e., ideational fluency). Moreover, the authors tested whether these effects generalized to noncultural domains, which may indicate that bicultural experience enhances creativity in broader arenas. One hundred seventy-seven Chinese Americans completed a creativity task in either a monocultural or bicultural context (manipulated via Chinese or American sym- bols or both). Greater bicultural identity blendedness predicted domain-general creativity in bicultural but not in monocultural contexts, and this was mediated by ideational fluency. Implications for enhancing creativity in our diverse society are discussed.

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