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Difficult differences: a socio-cultural analysis of how diversity can enable and inhibit creativity

Hawlina, Hana, Gillespie, Alex ORCID: 0000-0002-0162-1269 and Zittoun, Tania (2017) Difficult differences: a socio-cultural analysis of how diversity can enable and inhibit creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior. ISSN 0022-0175

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Identification Number: 10.1002/jocb.182


The relationship between diversity and creativity can be seen as paradoxical. A diversity of perspectives should be advantageous for collaborative creativity, yet its benefits are often offset by adverse social processes. One suggestion for overcoming these negative effects is perspective taking. We compared four dyads with low scores on trait perspective taking with four dyads who were high on trait perspective taking on a brainstorming task followed by reconstructive interviews. Trait-based perspective taking was strongly associated with greater creativity. However, contrary with expectation, interactional perspective taking behaviors (including questioning, signaling understanding, repairing) were associated with lesser creativity. The dyads that generated the fewest ideas were most likely to get stuck within ideational domains, struggling to understand one-another, having to elaborate and justify their ideas more. In contrast, the dyads that generated many ideas were more likely to recognize each other's ideas as valuable without extensive justification or negotiation. We suggest that perspective taking is crucially important for mediating diversity in the generation of new ideas not only because it enables understanding the perspective of the other, but because it entails an atmosphere of tolerance, playfulness, and mutual recognition

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2017 by the Creative Education Foundation
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2018 14:32
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 21:09

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