And now for something completely different? The impact of group membership on perceptions of creativity
Haslam, S. Alexander
University of Exeter
A wealth of historical, cultural, and biographical evidence points to the fact that there is considerable variation in different people's judgments of creative products. What is creative to one person is deviant to another, and creative efforts often fail to be given the enthusiastic reception that their creators anticipate and think they deserve. Unpacking the roots of these discrepancies, this paper develops an analysis of creativity that is informed by the social identity approach. This analysis is supported by a review of previous research that points to the way in which perceptions of creativity are structured by both self-categorization and social norms (and their interaction). Further support for the analysis is provided by two experiments (Ns = 100, 125) which support the hypothesis that ingroup products are perceived to be more creative than those of outgroups independently of other factors with which group membership is typically correlated in the world at large (e.g., quality). The studies also indicate that this pattern is not simply a manifestation of generic ingroup bias since judgments of creativity diverge from those of both likeability (Experiment 1) and beauty (Experiment 2). The theoretical and practical significance of these findings is discussed with particular reference to innovation resistance and the “not invented here” syndrome.
This research was supported by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (RES-062-23-0135).
Authors' draft; final version published in Social influence; available online at http://www.informaworld.com/ Embargo until 1 July 2010
Social Influence, Vol. 3 (4) December 2008 , p. 248 - 266