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Creativity in intercultural communication: originality or relevance?

On March 3 Maria Bultseva (PhD, Research Fellow, Center for Sociocultural Research, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics) took part in the "Culture matters" research seminar with the report "Creativity in intercultural communication: originality or relevance?".

The sociocultural approach to creativity suggests that culture plays a large role in shaping creativity. In particular, existing studies have shown (1) that representatives of different cultures have different priorities in relation to such characteristics of creativity as originality and relevance (correspondence to the context and situation); (2) that intercultural experiences affect creativity. In an empirical study (N=170, a sample of Russian students), an attempt was made to integrate the above two statements into one model, starting from the idea that people tend to take into account cultural differences and change their behavior to meet the situation and expectations of other cultures. The main purpose of the study was to determine whether people's priorities in terms of originality or relevance change when they are supposed to communicate with representatives of different cultures (Russian, Chinese, American), as well as to identify situational and personal determinants of these priorities. The results obtained demonstrate the existence of differences in the perceived importance of the characteristics of creativity in the expected communication with representatives of different cultures. The results also show that foreign experience, the psychological climate of the organization (university), and such components of intercultural competence as attitudes and behavior adaptation are significant in determining the importance of originality or relevance.