Whoever is influential is creative : How Chinese undergraduates choose creative people in Chinese societies

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1235-1249
Journal / PublicationPsychological Reports
Issue number3 II
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


This study surveyed 994 undergraduates in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanchang, Nanjing and Xian about their nomination and evaluation of the most creative people in Chinese societies as well as their valuation of collectivistic and individualistic goals of creativity. Politicians and scientists/inventors were mostly nominated and were generally rated higher on social contribution than on creativity. Artists/musicians and writers/poets were rarely nominated and were mostly rated higher on creativity than on social contribution. Collectivistic goals of creativity were significantly more valued than individualistic goals of creativity. There appears to be a social validation of creativity such that meritorious salience of creativity and social influence of the creator were greatly emphasized. Merit-based attribution of creators may have a detrimental effect on perception and promotion of general creativity in Chinese societies.