Creative problem solving strategies differ across cultures
In contemporary world, creativity and innovation assume key positions in political, economic, and social spheres. Policymakers recognize creative education as a potential investment in their country’s future. Business organizations place innovation among the major leadership skills. A growing body of governmental policies and corporate training programs aim at nurturing creative potential. In this regard, it is important to recognize that those policies and programs developed in one particular cultural context may not be effectively applied in the others. No doubt, creative activity is inherent to human nature and therefore it earns recognition in all areas of human enterprise across all cultures. However, the manifestation of creative potential might differ in various cultural groups.
In this monograph, Anatoliy V. Kharkhurin presents the results of his empirical investigation into the impact of multilingual practice on an individual's creative potential. Until now, the relationship between these two activities has received little attention in the academic community. The book makes an attempt to resuscitate this theme and provides a solid theoretical framework supported by contemporary empirical research conducted in a variety of geographic, linguistic, and sociocultural locations. This study demonstrates that several factors - such as the multilinguals' age of language acquisition, proficiency in these languages and experience with cultural settings in which these languages were acquired - have a positive impact on selective attention and language mediated concept activation mechanisms. Together, these facilitate generative and innovative capacities of creative thinking. This book will be of great interest not only to scholars in the fields of multilingualism and creativity, but also to educators and all those interested in enhancing foreign language learning and fostering creativity.
The specific structure of multilingual memory may facilitate language mediated concept activation, which in turn may ensure a simultaneous activation of often unrelated concepts. At the same time, multilingual practice may encourage inhibition and facilitation mechanisms of selective attention. These mechanisms seem to play an important role in divergent and convergent thinking, and thereby foster an individual’s creative performance. In addition, there is evidence that creative personality traits such as cognitive flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity, openness to new experience, and motivation can be developed as a result of multilingual practice. The proposed cognitive mechanisms and personality traits appear to benefit from multi-competence aspects such as proficiency in languages an individual uses, age of acquisition of these languages, circumstances and extent to which an individual switches between these languages, the sociocultural environment and emotional context in which these languages are acquired and used. It is evident that empirical data suggesting the links between multi-competence and creativity is highly scattered and often speculative. Overall, multilingual creativity lacks systematic research, especially any focusing on variation in multilinguals’ creative capacities. Therefore, a systematic investigation of the proposed and possibly other factors in multilingual creativity is required.
Functional fixedness is related to excessive focusing on a specific functional property of an object. We assumed that the naming of other objects which possess the same functional property to a lesser extent than a given object can reduce the excessive focusing on this functional property for this object. It can help to loosen functional fixedness and improve individual creative performance. We tested the effectiveness of this method with 302 participants aged between 17 and 22 (256 female and 46 male). The study consisted of two experiments with 110 and 192 participants, respectively. Prior to performing a creative activity (story writing in Experiment 1 and thinking up unusual uses of a given object in Experiment 2), participants from different groups were asked to name objects which possess the main functional property of the given object to the same extent, to a lesser extent, and to a greater extent, respectively. In both phases of the study, we found a significant effect on the extent of the target property possession on originality. Results showed that participants named objects with the lesser manifestation of a target property outperformed their counterparts from other groups.
The Routledge Handbook of Language and Creativity provides an introduction to and survey of a wide range of perspectives on the relationship between language and creativity. Defining this complex and multifaceted field, this book introduces a conceptual framework through which the various definitions of language and creativity can be explored.
The chapter presents a theoretical framework of multilingual creative cognition. It rests on creative cognition paradigm perceiving creative capacity as an essential property of normative human cognition. Increase in general cognitive functioning may facilitate an individual’s creative abilities. Multilingual development may result in establishing specific architectures of the mind that are likely to promote later cognitive advantages. If multilingualism results in more elaborate cognitive structures and/or functioning, it may also facilitate creative functioning. Thus, an individual’s acquisition and use of multiple languages may have impact on one’s cognition and therefore facilitate creative cognition. The chapter reviews the empirical research supporting multilingual creative cognition. It identifies cognitive mechanisms underlying creative thinking, which are potentially encouraged by an individual’s cross-linguistic and cross-cultural experiences. The chapter concludes with a discussion of potential applications of the multilingual creative cognition. Specifically, it introduces a Bilingual Creative Education program, which constitutes a unified teaching model introducing both language learning and creativity-fostering instruction to the school curriculum. The purpose of the program is to introduce students to a school curriculum in two languages and to foster four defining aspects of creativity: novelty, utility, aesthetics, and authenticity.
Purpose - This paper investigates relationships among correlates of individual innovative activity: creativity, innovativeness, novelty seeking, and intelligence.
Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected from 202 students of the Higher School of Economics (123 females and 79 males).
Findings- The findings revealed significant relations between intelligence and fluency of participants’ creative performances, as well as novelty seeking and innovativeness.
Research limitations/implications - Limitations include the correlation design, the sample of students, and the self-reported measures for novelty seeking and innovativeness.
Practical implications- The paper proposes a number of implications for researchers and practitioners who deal with innovation. The results of the study can be applied to various procedures and stages of innovation management.
Originality/value – The study contributes to knowledge on psychological correlates of innovation on an individual level, such as creativity, innovativeness, novelty seeking, and intelligence, as well as produces an empirically validated model of the relationships among them.
The study continues the exploration of the contribution of creative perception to creative potential. Creative potential was operationalized as divergent thinking and measured by the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults. Creative perception was operationalized as a preference for complexity and asymmetry and was assessed by a standard Barron-Welsh Art Scale. Sixty-five undergraduate college students participated in the study. Preference for complexity and asymmetry was found to make a measurable contribution to the elaboration trait of divergent thinking. This finding suggests that in addition to the process, product, person, place, persuasion, and potential perspectives, creativity construct can be evaluated from the standpoint of creative perception.
This chapter provides an overview of empirical research on the relationship between bilingualism and creativity. It focuses on the creative performance of bilingual and monolingual children and adults. After reviewing the empirical findings, the chapter discusses their methodological issues and provides their theoretical interpretation. One of the major methodological glitches contaminating not only bilingual creativity research, but also bilingualism research at large, arises from a procedure that assigns participants to bilingual and monolingual groups. Most research investigating a relationship between bilingualism and creativity uses a cross-sectional design, which can be subsequently divided in between- and within-group designs. The impact of bilingualism on creativity is mediated by the effects of bicultural experience. The relationship between bilingualism and creativity becomes the spurious consequence of the confounding variables. There is evidence that bilingualism results in more elaborate cognitive structures and/or functioning. Lambert suggested that bilingualism often entails repeated switching from one language to another and constant dealing with several code systems.