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IDEOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AND CREATIVITY: A RE-EVALUATION OF A HYPOTHESIS

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Abstract:

Using political fragmentation and imperial instability as indicators, an earlier study attempted to show that cultural diversity has a positive influence on personal creative development. This paper re-examines that hypothesis by first introducing ideological diversity as a more direct indicator and then testing for relationships using cross-lagged correlation analysis. With data extending over 122 generations (20-year periods) of Western history, it was found that: (1) political fragmentation, imperial instability, and ideological diversity all correlate with creativity, but the first indicator has no contemporaneous relationship with the last two; (2) none of the cross-lagged correlations between the three cultural diversity indicators and creativity were statistically significant, and hence they may not be developmental influences; and (3) political fragmentation has a significant impact on the emergence of ideological diversity in the next generation. The inference was that the original hypothesis is probably oversimplified.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1976.4.2.203

Publication date: January 1, 1976

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