International Journal of Group Tensions

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 293–324

Why Creators Are Dogmatic People, “Nice” People Are Not Creative, and Creative People Are Not “Nice”

  • Ng Aik Kwang
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1012720801682

Cite this article as:
Kwang, N.A. International Journal of Group Tensions (2001) 30: 293. doi:10.1023/A:1012720801682

Abstract

This article presents a provocative perspective on creativity with two controversial assertions. First, it challenges the conventional view of the creator as an innovative person, by promoting the notion of the dogmatic creator. Second, it argues that “nice” people are not creative, and creative people are not “nice.” An integrative review of the empirical literature on culture, creativity, and conflict ensues. In the process, four sets of hypotheses are developed which are embedded in two theoretical models of behavior. In Theoretical Model A, it is postulated that cultural individualism-collectivism has a positive causal impact on independent self-construal (Hypothesis 1A). In turn, independent self-construal is posited to have a positive causal impact on positive perception of conflict (Hypothesis 2A), confrontational conflict style (Hypothesis 3A), and creative behavior (Hypothesis 4A). In Theoretical Model B, it is postulated that cultural individualism-collectivism has a negative causal impact on interdependent self-construal (Hypothesis 1B). In turn, interdependent self-construal was postulated to have a positive causal impact on negative perception of conflict (Hypothesis 2B), non-confrontational conflict style (Hypothesis 3B), and conforming behavior (Hypothesis 4B). One-hundred-eighty-six university students in Singapore and 158 students in Australia responded to a survey, which consisted of various scales tapping the constructs in these two theoretical models of behavior. SEM analyses using LISREL 8.0 provided empirical support for both models of behavior. Based on these findings, several points are raised. First, creativity should not be perceived in a naïve manner. Second, there is an urgent need to assist parents, teachers, and employers to deal with creative individuals. Finally, since creativity is a cultural phenomenon, the cultural context must be made amenable for this type of behavior.

culture creativity conflict dogmatic “nice” 

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ng Aik Kwang
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingapore

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