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Abstract

Despite the increased attention given to cultural phenomena in social psychology, the field has neglected issues related to globalization's cultural impacts. Meanwhile, opinions in the debates over these issues are divided, polarized, and often motivated by political and ideological commitments. Globalization has brought symbols of diverse cultures together and provided ample opportunities for the simultaneous activation of two or more cultural representations. Using our research on the social cognitive consequences of activating two cultural representations simultaneously as an example, we argue for constructing a social psychology of globalization that offers nuanced understandings of people's psychological responses to globalization. Although simultaneous activation of cultural representations does not determine an individual's cultural identity, it enlarges the felt distinctions between different identity options and magnifies the effects of identity choice. Furthermore, in situations that emphasize appropriating intellectual resources from diverse cultures to foster creativity, simultaneous activation of cultural representations may facilitate creative performance.