In our recent article (Leung, Maddux, Galinsky, & Chiu, April 2008), we presented evidence supporting the idea that multicultural experience can facilitate creativity. In a reply to that article, Rich (2009, this issue) has argued that our review, although timely and important, was somewhat limited in scope, focusing mostly on smaller forms of creativity ("little c": e.g., paper- and-pencil measures of creativity) as well as on larger forms of multicultural experience ("Big M": e.g., living in a foreign country). Rich made a provocative call for a more comprehensive examination of the link between multicultural experience and creativity, including both larger forms of creativity ("Big C": e.g., major artistic achievements or scientific breakthroughs) and milder forms of multicultural experience ("little m": e.g., exposure to cross-cultural information at home).
We agree with many aspects of Rich's (2009) assessment. The issue of whether different forms of multicultural experience can affect Big C creativity is of interest to both scholars and laypeople because creative breakthroughs can literally alter the course of human progress. Given the importance of creativity and the relevance of multicultural experience in the increasingly globalized world of the early 21st century, we share Rich's view that such research can and should shed light on how major innovations may come about as well as on whether milder forms of multicultural experience can be a catalyst to these breakthroughs.
Maddux, W., Kwok Leung, Chi-Yue Chiu, and Adam Galinsky. "Toward a more complete understanding of the link between multicultural experience and creativity." American Psychologist 64 (2009): 156-158.
Each author name for a Columbia Business School faculty member is linked to a faculty research page, which lists additional publications by that faculty member.
Each topic is linked to an index of publications on that topic.