Human Creativity: Reflections on the Role of Culture



In commenting on the articles in this Editors' Forum, three questions are addressed: (i) how should we operationalize and measure creative outputs to enable a sound analysis of cross-cultural differences in creativity; (ii) could it be that culture impacts not only the valuation of originality and usefulness but also the psychological processes through which original yet useful ideas and insights are achieved; and (iii) does culture impact the domains in which individuals are more or less motivated to perform creatively? Using recent work on creativity as a starting point, and the key findings reported in this Editors' Forum, I propose that new research on culture and creativity would benefit from separating creative products from creative processes, and would do justice to the nature and functionality of cultures by asking not only when and how individuals and groups achieve creativity, but also why they would bother to be creative in the first place.