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"When Diversity Helps or Hurts Creative Cognition: Effects of Counter-stereotypicality, Information Processing Motivation, and Regulatory Closure" (CREA.DIV)
Start date: Sep 1, 2012, End date: Aug 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Social and cultural diversity is a critical issue facing Europe today, and understanding how it operates is important to the wellbeing of our communities. Psychological science has contributed greatly to the understanding of how diversity impacts both intergroup and interpersonal relations. There is reason to suspect, however, that diversity can also improve creativity and innovation. With creativity and innovation being vital components of individual and societal functioning and prosperity, it is critical to further understanding of the relationship between diversity on the one hand, and creative cognition and innovative practices on the other. Building on our expertise in the psychology of groups, and in creativity research, we propose six experiments to explain when and how diversity influences creativity in people. Specifically, we focus on a core component of diverse societies – a challenge to stereotypical views of others – and investigate how challenging stereotypic views influences the way people think and generate ideas. We look at two explanatory processes: a flexible use of conceptual categories, and engagement in effortful, systematic thought. We describe how challenging stereotypic expectations influences these two processes, and in turn, creative cognition and performance. Furthermore, we consider the moderating influence of information processing motivation, and external circumstances such as the fit between the creativity task and the counter-stereotypical challenge. The Research Fellow’s strong background in diversity and intergroup relations research complements the expertise of the Scientist in Charge (C.K.W. De Dreu), a world expert in the psychology of groups and creativity. The exceptional training environment at the University of Amsterdam will ensure the successful execution of this project."
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