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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00537

Does exposure to foreign culture influence creativity? Maybe it's not only due to concept expansion

 Liu Tan1,  Xiaoqin Wang2, 3,  Yu C. Guo2, Rongcan Zeng2, Ting Zhou4 and  Guikang Cao2*
  • 1Chongqing Key Laboratory of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Southwest University, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (SWU),Ministry of Education, Chongqing, Southwest University, China
  • 3Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, China
  • 4Mental Health Education Center, Henan Normal University, China

Multicultural experience refers to those experiences gained through individuals’ contact with other cultures. This study focused on exploring whether knowledge of different cultures can improve creative performance-and also how multicultural experiences influenced this performance through changes in individual’s physiological mechanisms. Experiment 1 explored the influence of different cultural primings on creative story-writing tasks. 89 Chinese college students were randomly assigned to 4 conditions: sole American culture, dual cultures, sole Chinese culture or control condition, and made to watch 45-minute slides with cultural elements—including pictures, music and videos,—and then they were asked to complete the creative story-writing task. The results showed that American cultrue priming group’s score was significantly higher than the control condition with regards to the uniqueness and novelty of the creative story-writing task. Experiment 2 was aimed at exploring the relationship between physiological arousal levels induced by different cultural and creative performance. We divided the whole experiment into five stages,—including the baseline, picture, listening to music, watching video and completing creative tasks. Through Biofeedback measurement, we recorded the physiological indexes of participants in different groups in every stage, including skin conductance, thermal, electroencephalographic and heart rate. The results showed that contact with foreign cultures would increase individuals' physiological arousal level and brain activity, which contributed to the following creative task.

Keywords: multicultural experience, creativity, physiological awaken, Culture shock, cultural priming paradigm

Received: 27 Sep 2018; Accepted: 25 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Chang Liu, Nanjing Normal University, China

Reviewed by:

Baoguo Shi, Capital Normal University, China
Xiaoyang Yang, Sichuan Normal University, China  

Copyright: © 2019 Tan, Wang, Guo, Zeng, Zhou and Cao. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Guikang Cao, Southwest University, Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (SWU),Ministry of Education, Chongqing, Chongqing, China, cgk@swu.edu.cn