We aimed to investigate possible differences in creativity, problem solving, and executive functioning in individuals who have lived experience in divergent cultures during critical developmental periods (i.e., between the ages of 0-18 have spent time in multiple divergent cultural environments). A subsidiary aim is to investigate the relationship between cognitive load and resilience, more specifically, to help to clarify the effects of causal environmental factors (i.e., exposure to multiple cultural models) on cognitive flexibility and resilience.
Research Questions / Hypotheses
Multicultural individuals will have greater cognitive flexibility, and higher creativity scores compared to monocultural individuals
83 participants completed the study
Participants were presented with: A cognitive flexibility task; creativity tasks (the alternative uses task and the constrained association task); and a questionnaire regarding languages spoken, and countries lived in throughout their lives.
The data is still being processed; an ANOVA will be used to compare between individuals who are: Multi-cultural and multi-lingual (have lived in three countries for at least a year before the age of 18 and speak more than one language fluently); mono-cultural and mono-lingual; and multi-cultural and monolingual We expect that multi-cultural and multi-lingual individuals will demonstrate increased cognitive flexibility and creativity compared to both other groups.
If the predicted results are substantiated, this will tell us about how to not only broaden people's minds (through travel and experiences others' worlds), but also how to increase their cognition. We will present the findings at conferences and write these results as a publication.