Another tip on how to be more creative:

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Eric Barker  -  
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“Generally, positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem solving and flexible yet careful thinking,” says Ruby Nadler, a graduate student at the University of Western Ontario. She and colleagues Rahel Rabi and John Paul Minda carried out a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. For this study, Nadler and her colleagues looked at a particular kind of learning that is improved by creative thinking.

And:

Happy volunteers were better at learning a rule to classify the patterns than sad or neutral volunteers. “If you have a project where you want to think innovatively, or you have a problem to carefully consider, being in a positive mood can help you to do that,” Nadler says. And music is an easy way to get into a good mood. Everyone has a different type of music that works for them—don’t feel like you have to switch to Mozart, she says.

Source: Eurekalert

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Are Hopeful Employees More Creative?

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We studied how employees’ hope explains their creativity at work, both directly and through the mediation of happiness. One hundred and twenty-five individuals reported their hope and happiness, their supervisors having reported their creativity. Factor analyses suggested two hope factors (waypower; composite hope) and three creativity dimensions (novel ideas; creative ideas; ideas championing). The main findings were the following: (a) the composite hope predicted all creativity dimensions, the waypower dimension predicted only the ideas championing dimension; and (b) the composite hope measure also predicted creativity through the mediating role of happiness.

Source: “Are Hopeful Employees More Creative? An Empirical Study” from Creativity Research Journal, Volume 21, Issue 2 & 3 April 2009 , pages 223 – 231

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Want to be more creative? Move.

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Research suggests that living in and adapting to foreign cultures facilitates creativity. The current research investigated whether one aspect of the adaptation process—multicultural learning—is a critical component of increased creativity. Experiments 1-3 found that recalling a multicultural learning experience: (a) facilitates idea flexibility (e.g., the ability to solve problems in multiple ways), (b) increases awareness of underlying connections and associations, and (c) helps overcome functional fixedness. Importantly, Experiments 2 and 3 specifically demonstrated that functional learning in a multicultural context (i.e., learning about the underlying meaning or function of behaviors in that context) is particularly important for facilitating creativity. Results showed that creativity was enhanced only when participants recalled a functional multicultural learning experience and only when participants had previously lived abroad. Overall, multicultural learning appears to be an important mechanism by which foreign living experiences lead to creative enhancement.

Source: “When in Rome … Learn Why the Romans Do What They Do: How Multicultural Learning Experiences Facilitate Creativity” from Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 36, No. 6, 731-741 (2010)

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Can witnessing rudeness make you less creative?

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In three experimental studies, we found that witnessing rudeness enacted by an authority figure (Studies 1 and 3) and a peer (Study 2) reduced observers’ performance on routine tasks as well as creative tasks. In all three studies we also found that witnessing rudeness decreased citizenship behaviors and increased dysfunctional ideation. Negative affect mediated the relationships between witnessing rudeness and performance. The results of Study 3 show that competition with the victim over scarce resources moderated the relationship between observing rudeness and performance. Witnesses that were in a competition with the victim felt less negative affect in observing his mistreatment and their performance decreased to a lesser extent than observers of rudeness enacted against a non-competitive victim. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Source: “Overlooked but not untouched: How rudeness reduces onlookers’ performance on routine and creative tasks” from Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 109, Issue 1, May 2009, Pages 29-44

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Want to increase creativity and innovation? Get on a plane.

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While business surveys often find that managers prefer face-to-face communication for negotiating deals and selling their product, there is reason to believe that face-to-face meetings are particularly important for the transfer of technology, because technology is best explained and demonstrated in person. This paper examines the role of inward business travelers in raising a country’s rate of innovation by looking at business travel from the United States to seventy-four other countries during the years 1993-2003. We find that international business travel has a significant effect up and beyond technology transfer through international trade and foreign direct investment. A 10% increase in international business traveler arrivals leads on average to an increase in patenting of about 1%. There is also strong evidence that the impact on innovation depends on the quality of the technological knowledge carried by each business traveler. This study shows that international air travel may be an important channel through which cross-country income differences can be reduced. Our results on short-term cross-border labor migration raise also a number of new policy issues that are discussed.

Source: “International Business Travel: An Engine of Innovation?” from Centre for Economic Policy Research

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