Thursday, May 21, 2009

Does Living Abroad Spark Creativity?

Ernest Hemingway at the Finca Vigia, Cuba, 1953, JFK Presidential Library and Museum
A recent piece in The Economist highlights a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that suggests living abroad may do wonders for your creativity. The results certainly seem intuitive. I've lived abroad and the experience shook up my influences.

But, not so fast says Jonah Lehre on his blog, The Frontal Cortex. He thinks the conclusions in the study may be sketchy and cites issues of causation vs. correlation and using email as a testing tool as factors.

This matter is too important to leave open for debate. We need certainty and I'm willing to step up and be a guinea pig. Scientists, please send me to Spain with my camera, pump me full of sangria and hook me up to any all manner of diodes and testing apparatus you have. Let's get to the bottom of this pressing scientific matter once-and-for-all.
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