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The Relationship Between Living Abroad and Creativity.pdf
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The Relationship Between Living Abroad and Creativity。pdf介绍

The Relationship Between Living Abroad and Creativity.pdf
Cultural Borders and Mental Barriers:
The Relationship Between Living Abroad and Creativity
William W. Maddux
INSEAD
Adam D. Galinsky
Northwestern University
Despite abundant anecdotal evidence that creativity is associated with living in foreign countries, there
is currently little empirical evidence for this relationship. Five studies employing a multimethod approach
systematically explored the link between living abroad and creativity. Using both individual and dyadic
creativity tasks, Studies 1 and 2 provided initial demonstrations that time spent living abroad (but not
time spent traveling abroad) showed a positive relationship with creativity. Study 3 demonstrated that
priming foreign living experiences temporarily enhanced creative tendencies for participants who had
previously lived abroad. In Study 4, the degree to which individuals had adapted to different cultures
while living abroad mediated the link between foreign living experience and creativity. Study 5 found
that priming the experience of adapting to a foreign culture temporarily enhanced creativity for
participants who had previously lived abroad. The relationship between living abroad and creativity was
consistent across a number of creativity measures (including those measuring insight, association, and
generation), as well as with masters of business administration and undergraduate samples, both in the
United States and Europe, demonstrating the robustness of this phenomenon.
Keywords: creativity, culture, living abroad, cognition, negotiations
Creativity, which is typically defined as the process of bring-
ing into being something that is both novel and useful, is one of
the most intriguing psychological phenomena. The definition of
the word create—to cause to exist; to bring into being—implies
something profound, almost godlike, which is perhaps the ori-
gin of the phrase “divine inspiration.”Although hard work,
effort, and training are a significant part of the creative process
(e.g., Amabile, 1996; Csikszentmihalyi, 1996; Sawyer, 2006;
Simonton, 1997), there is an insight component that is critical
as well, one that seems to work at an unconscious and inacces-
sible level (Schooler & Melcher, 1995). This moment of dis-
covery is the magical “a-ha”moment, the point at which an idea
leaps into consciousness, a moment that is sudden, abstract, and
seemingly without logic.
Despite the mysterious nature of creative insight, over the past
several decades, researchers have managed to shed light on many
of the psychological factors that are vital to the creative process.
However, one of the most common lay assumptions regarding
creativity—that living abroad is associated with creative in-
sights—remains unstudied. In particular, living abroad is often
seen as a necessary experience for aspiring artists, and there is
abundant anecdotal evidence for the idea that some creative indi-
viduals produce their best known masterworks during or following
a stint abroad (e.g., Vladimir Nabokov and his novel Lolita, Ernest
Hemingway and his The Sun Also Rises). In fact, all four winners
of the Nobel Prize in literature who are from Ireland (Yeats, Shaw,
Beckett, and Heaney) spent significant portions of their lives
abroad. In addition to writers, many famous painters, (e.g., Gau-
guin and Picasso) and composers (e.g., Handel, Prokofiev, Stra-
vinsky, and Schoenberg) created many of their most admired

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