Revisiting the multicultural experience-creativity link: The effects of perceived cultural distance and comparison mind-set

Chi Ying Cheng*, Angela K Y Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


A growing literature provides evidence for the multicultural experience-creativity link such that exposure to the juxtaposition of two cultures facilitates individual creativity. The underlying mechanisms for this relationship, however, are still far from being well explored. Drawing upon the novel perspective of motivated cognition, we hypothesize that two factors interact to affect creative outcomes: (a) perceived cultural distance between the two juxtaposed cultures, and (b) comparison mind-sets. Specifically, we argue that individuals' creative performance will be increased only when a difference mind-set is employed to process the cultural stimuli that are sufficiently different from each other. In two studies, individuals exposed to dual cultural primes with higher levels of perceived cultural distance consistently performed more adeptly in creative insight tasks when they personally predisposed to or experimentally manipulated to adopt a difference (vs. similarity) mind-set. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-482
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


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