Creativity and multiculturalism


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This presentation explores neuroscience and what it teaches us about creativity, multiculturalism and aging. Learn ways to change pathw

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Creativity and multiculturalism

  1. 1. What Neuroscience teaches Us about creativity and multiculturalism<br />Presented by Alicia Arnold <br />Fall 2011<br />
  2. 2. What is Creativity?<br />
  3. 3.<br />Creativity involves the production of novel, useful products<br />Mumford, M. D. (2003). Where have we been, where are we going? Taking stock in creativity research. Creativity Research Journal, 15, 107–120.<br />
  4. 4. Why is Creativity Important?<br />
  5. 5. “Much of our educational system is geared toward teaching people to find “the right answer.” By the time the average person finishes college, he or she will have taken over 2,600 tests, quizzes, and exams. The “right answer” approach becomes deeply ingrained in our thinking. This may be fine for some mathematical problems where there is in fact one right answer. The difficulty is that most of life isn’t that way. Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers—all depending on what you are looking for. But if you think there is only one right answer, then you’ll stop looking as soon as you find one.”<br />Roger von Oech, “A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative,” (New York: Warner Books, 1983).<br />
  6. 6. What have we learned about creativity?<br />
  7. 7. Much of what we believe about creativity is inaccurate<br />Keith Sawyer (2011): The Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity: A Critical Review, Creativity ResearchJournal, 23:2, 137-154<br />
  8. 8. Creativity is not mysterious, but part of normal mental process<br />Studies identify the prefrontal cortex as critical to creativity<br />It is the central structure involved in creative thinking; not solely responsible, but very important<br />Prefrontal lobe does not fully develop until a person is in their 20’s – explains why kids creativity is less structured<br />Prefrontal lobe is the first to deteriorate – explains the decline in creativity with age; things get “hardwired”<br />Leung, A. K., Maddux, W.M., et al (2008).Multicultural experience enhances creativity: The when and how. American Psychology, 63 (3), 169–181 DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.63.3.169<br />
  9. 9. “A baby’s brain is a work in progress…”<br /><br />
  10. 10. “We are born with as many nerve cells as stars in the Milky Way galaxy. But these cells have not yet established a pattern of wiring between them — they haven't made their connections.” <br /><br />
  11. 11. “By the time a child is 3 years old, a baby's brain has formed about 1,000 trillion connections — about twice as many as adults have.”<br /><br />
  12. 12. “Beginning at about age 11, a child's brain gets rid of extra connections in a process calling ‘pruning,’ gradually making order out of a thick tangle of ‘wires.’”<br /><br />
  13. 13. “The remaining ‘wiring’ is more powerful and efficient. <br />
  14. 14. The more you use a circuit, the stronger it gets. <br />
  15. 15. Attention is almost magical in its ability to physically alter the brain and enlarge functional circuits.<br /><br />
  16. 16. The key to creativity may be creating new pathways <br />
  17. 17. And, multiculturalism can play a role.<br /><br />Multicultural Experience Enhances Creativity<br />
  18. 18. A traditional view of multiculturalism is based on race<br />Although current discussion on multiculturalism focuses primarily on issues related to ethnic diversity in the United States, multicultural psychology concerns all aspects of human behavior that occur when people from two or more cultural backgrounds encounter each other (Chiu, in press). <br />Leung, A. K., Maddux, W.M., et al (2008).Multicultural experience enhances creativity: The when and how. American Psychology, 63 (3), 169–181 DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.63.3.169<br />
  19. 19. At it’s core, multiculturalism is the lens with which we look at the world<br />Dancer<br />Baseball player<br />Doctor<br />Have own language, norms…<br />
  20. 20. The rhythm for the Bee Gees “Jive Talkin” was inspired by the chunka-chunka-chunka sound of a car rolling over a bridge<br />Robin Gibb explained to The Mail On Sunday November 1, 2009: "We'd already thought up the title for this song, but it wasn't until Barry, Maurice and I drove from Biscayne Bay to Miami that we realized what the tune was going to be. We had the idea as we passed over a bridge. Some tar noises made a rhythmic sound on the wheels of our car, which created the feel to the type of song we wanted to write. We finished the song at the Criteria studios that day."<br /><br />
  21. 21. Multiculturalism helps…<br />Extensiveness of multicultural experiences was positively related to creative performance<br />insight learning<br />remote association<br />and idea generation <br />And, creativity-supporting cognitive processes<br />retrieval of unconventional knowledge<br />recruitment of ideas from unfamiliar cultures for creative idea expansion<br />Leung, A. K., Maddux, W.M., et al (2008).Multicultural experience enhances creativity: The when and how. American Psychology, 63 (3), 169–181 DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.63.3.169<br />
  22. 22. In addition to rich experiences, multiculturalism helps with closure<br />Providing direct access to novel ideas and concepts from other cultures, <br />Creating the ability to see multiple underlying functions behind the same form, <br />Destabilizing routinized knowledge structures, thereby increasing the accessibility of normally inaccessible knowledge, <br />Creating a psychological readiness to recruit ideas from unfamiliar sources and places, <br />Fostering synthesis of seemingly incompatible ideas from diverse cultures<br />Leung, A. K., Maddux, W.M., et al (2008).Multicultural experience enhances creativity: The when and how. American Psychology, 63 (3), 169–181 DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.63.3.169<br />
  23. 23. Multiculturalism provides a way to introduce new thinking<br />And, to change brain patterns<br />In order to create new pathways<br />
  24. 24. For ways to change brain patterns…<br />Available on<br />
  25. 25. Practicing the “Famous People” creativity technique <br />Choose a famous person you know a lot about<br />Write down your famous person’s defining experiences <br />Consider your person’s feelings and reactions to these experiences<br />What are your famous person’s defining characteristics<br />
  26. 26. How might your famous person improve education around the world?<br />“Education is considered one of the most vital elements for a country to create its next generation of leaders such as future presidents and other government officials, which will come from the group of children or young men and women. If they would not have access to quality education in their respective communities, they will find it hard to write letters and speeches that would address certain problems, even more, applying knowledge that will make a certain country become competitive in the world market.”<br /><br />
  27. 27. Forming new pathways becomes even more important as we get older as some research shows declines in creativity associated with aging<br />Roskos-Ewoldsen, B., Black, S. R., & McCown, S. M. (2008). Age-related changes in creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior, 41 (1).<br />
  28. 28. In closing, looking at the world from a multicultural perspective and practicing creativity will help you become more creative.<br />
  29. 29. About Alicia Arnold<br />Author of Creatively Ever After: A Path to Innovation<br />By day, I am an award-winning, digital marketer and use my passion for creativity and innovation to train teams on creative problem solving, develop breakthrough digital experiences, and facilitate innovation workshops. <br />I earned a Master of Science in Creativity and Change Leadership from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College and an M.B.A in Marketing from Bentley University<br />I look forward to connecting with you. You can reach me at…<br /> (Twitter)<br /> (Blog)<br /> (Facebook)<br />
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