Ideological diversity and creativity: A re-evaluation of a hypothesis

Dean Keith Simonton1
1University of California, United States
Cite this article:  Simonton, D. (1976). Ideological diversity and creativity: A re-evaluation of a hypothesis. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 4, 203-208.

Volume 4 Issue 2 | e144 | Published: August 1976 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1976.4.2.203

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Using political fragmentation and imperial instability as indicators, an earlier study was carried out in an attempt to show that cultural diversity has a positive influence on personal creative development. In this paper that hypothesis is reexamined 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 2; (2) none of the cross-lagged correlations between the 3 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.
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