This week, I started to read the article Multicultural Experience & Creativity. I read the first five pages and decided that I would take a break from the article where the Empirical Evidence section began. Although I will eventually finish the article, the first five pages contained a lot of information to digest. The paragraph on the second page was about the four different conclusions the authors came to and the one I found particularly interesting was conclusion (c):
Individual differences that account for whether people adapt and open themselves to foreign cultures and actively think about and compare the differences they en- counter between their home culture and the foreign culture can boost the creative benefits of multicultural experience
(Ka-yee Leung, et al, 2)
This interested me because it makes complete sense but I wanted to see all the reasons they came to this as one of the conclusions, which the authors did in the next few pages. From what I learned, it seems like a multicultural experience and how much it affects a person, depends on how much a person wants it to affect them and WHY they want to be affected. The quote on page three summed this up by saying “Individuals who pursue tasks for intrinsic rather than extrinsic purposes show enhanced creativity.”
This quote could be an article on itself. How do intrinsic or extrinsic purposes affect a person’s multi-cultural experience? I have never thought about this question before but I think it is something notable to talk about. I’ve always wanted to go to Africa to visit and volunteer in wildlife sanctuaries, not because I want to learn more about African culture but because that is where the animals I am interested in live. That is not to say that I wouldn’t be open to learning more about African culture; I am open and interested in learning about any culture. I am just pointing out that that wouldn’t be my main purpose for going there, so that would affect my cultural experience. This opened my eyes and made me think about the places I want to go, what I will gain from them, and why I want to go there.
Aside from one of the conclusions, another interesting point that was discussed was about the effects of being exposed to only one culture. Like growing up in this country; American’s for the most part have their routines, their own ideals and beliefs, and they pass that from generation to generation. I don’t think it is necessary to have to travel everywhere to become more culturally educated. Of course there is no substitute than actually immersing yourself in culture of whatever given country but just having that little spark of interest in another culture can lead to a lot of exploration and knowledge, which could further spark a new type of creativity that a person didn’t even know they had.