Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Postprint

Publication Date

4-2008

Abstract

Many practices aimed at cultivating multicultural competence in educational and organizational settings (e.g., exchange programs, diversity education in college, diversity management at work) assume that multicultural experience fosters creativity. In line with this assumption, the research reported in this article is the first to empirically demonstrate that exposure to multiple cultures in and of itself can enhance creativity. Overall, the authors found that extensiveness of multicultural experiences was positively related to both creative performance (insight learning, remote association, and idea generation) and creativity-supporting cognitive processes (retrieval of unconventional knowledge, recruitment of ideas from unfamiliar cultures for creative idea expansion). Furthermore, their studies showed that the serendipitous creative benefits resulting from multicultural experiences may depend on the extent to which individuals open themselves to foreign cultures, and that creativity is facilitated in contexts that deemphasize the need for firm answers or existential concerns. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for promoting creativity in increasingly global learning and work environments.

Keywords

Cognition, creativity, culture, multicultural experiences

Discipline

Multicultural Psychology | Social Psychology

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

American Psychologist

Volume

63

Issue

3

First Page

169

Last Page

181

ISSN

0003-066X

Identifier

10.1037/0003-066x.63.3.169

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Copyright Owner and License

Authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066x.63.3.169

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