yes, expats are more creative

This is for any and all expats or former expats reading this.  Yes, that sneaking suspicion is true.  You are fabulous.  You are creative.  You have flair.  Yes, just soak it in.

Here is the lede to an article in the Economist.

Anecdotal evidence has long held that creativity in artists and writers can be associated with living in foreign parts. Rudyard Kipling, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Gauguin, Samuel Beckett and others spent years dwelling abroad. Now a pair of psychologists has proved that there is indeed a link.

To check that they had not merely discovered that creative people are more likely to choose to live abroad, Dr Maddux and Dr Galinsky identified and measured personality traits, such as openness to new experiences, that are known to predict creativity. They then used statistical controls to filter out such factors. Even after that had been done, the statistical relationship between living abroad and creativity remained, indicating that it is something from the experience of living in foreign parts that helps foster creativity.

You can read the whole article here.

The article is actually about business students.  But I am going to take it more literally, as I have lived abroad in Budapest, Croatia and Sweden.  So instead of sleeping, I am off to take up watercolors, large metal sculpture, and opera.

2 thoughts on “yes, expats are more creative

  1. I should tape this article to my fridge. It’ll help pull me out of the doldrums of Hays, a town in which the main news story is “Commissioners regret purchase of backhoe.”

  2. Well, that backhoe was just not a good buy. I was just talking to someone about it at NK’s daycare, and didn’t Demi Moore say something about that Hays folly on Twitter?

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