Jan 112012

Two of the defining features of immigration  are the crossing of the language gap and the multicultural experience, both which can often be tough to navigate. You find yourself cherishing every little cause for relief or consolation you can find, so this can help: the multi-language and multicultural experience immigration entails helps boost your creativity. 

Exhibit #1:

Psychologists Charlan Nemeth and Julianne Kwan discovered that bilinguists are more creative than monolinguists—perhaps because they have to get used to the proposition that things can be viewed in several different ways. —Eli Pariser in “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You”

Exhibit #2:

[I]ndividuals who have lived abroad or who identify themselves with multiple national cultures are more likely to become entrepreneurs or come up with new product ideas at work. —William Maddux et al. in American Psychologist

As an immigrant or transplant, you know this intuitively. Nonetheless, it’s good to hear. But there’s a catch: you must be ready.

[I]ndividuals who are particularly open-minded or able to adapt to new cultures are the ones most likely to derive a creative benefit from multicultural experiences. [W]hat may be particularly important is whether individuals who encounter [multicultural] experiences are willing to capitalize on the creative benefits. —William Maddux et al. in American Psychologist

Take comfort, but stay frosty.



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