The Relationship of Intercultural Experience, Acculturation Expectations and Creativity among Russian Students



Intercultural contacts can be both destructive and beneficial to creativity, depending on the characteristics of acculturation. The aim of this study is to identify the relationship between intercultural experiences, acculturation expectations and creativity of Russian students in the context of internationalizing educational environment. Using quantitative methods on a sample of 272 Russian students (average age 21 years, 61% women) we tested hypotheses that the intercultural experiences are directly related to creativity, while acculturation expectations can both mediate this relationship and be an independent predictor of creativity. Our questionnaire included “Many instances” game from the RCAB of M. Runko, acculturation expectations scale (MIRIPS by J.W. Berry), intensity of friendly intercultural contacts scale (MIRIPS by J.W. Berry) and questions about length of staying abroad. The results showed that (1) the duration of stay abroad is positively related to creativity of Russian students; (2) positive relationship between the intensity of intercultural friendly interactions at the university and creativity is partly mediated by acculturation expectation of integration; and (3) expectations of integration and segregation are positively related to creativity, while the expectations of assimilation and exclusion are negatively related.

General Information

Keywords: creativity, multicultural experience, friendly intercultural contacts, acculturation expectations, contact hypothesis

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The article was prepared within the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) and supported within the framework of a subsidy by the Russian Academic Excellence Project '5-100'.

For citation: Bultseva M.A., Lebedeva N.M. The Relationship of Intercultural Experience, Acculturation Expectations and Creativity among Russian Students. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2019. Vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 51–59. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2019150306. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Bogoyavlenskaya D.B. Kul’turno-istoricheskiy podhod k problematike tvorchestva [A cultural-historical approach to the range of creativity problems]. Kul’turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya [ Cultural-Historical Psychology], 2007, no. 3, pp. 67—71. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.).
  2. Bogoyavlenskaya D.B., Sokolova I.A. Zarubezhniye issledovaniya psikhologii tvorchestva: postgilfordovskiy period [Foreign researches in psychology of creativity: post- Guilford era (Part I)]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie [Psychological science and education], 2007, no 3, pp. 97—107. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.).
  3. Vygotskiy L.S. Psikhologiya iskusstva [Psychology of art]. Minsk: Sovremennoye slovo, 1998. 480 p.
  4. Lebedeva N.M., Tatarko A.N. Strategii mezhetnicheskogo vzaimodeystviya migrantov i naseleniya Rossii [Strategies of interethnic interaction of migrants and the population of Russia]. Moscow: RUDN, 2009. 423 p.
  5. Meshkova N.V. Sovremenniye zarubezhniye issledovaniya kreativnosti: sotsial’no-psikhologisheskiy aspekt [ Modern foreign research in creativity: the social psychological aspect]. Sotsial’naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo [Social psychology and society], 2015, no. 6, no. 2, p. 8—21. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.).
  6. Petrovskiy V.A. Lichnost’ kak sub”yekt aktivnosti. Psikhologiya neadaptivnoy aktivnosti [Personality as a subject of activity. Psychology of non-adaptive activity]. Moscow: TOO Gorbunok, 1992, pp. 141—161.
  7. Shadrikov V.D. Sposobnosti i intellekt cheloveka [Abilities and human intelligence]. Moscow: Publ. Sovrem. gumanitar. un-ta, 2004. 188 p.
  8. Berry J.W. Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. Applied psychology. 1997. Vol. 46 (1), pp. 5—34. doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.1997.tb01087.x
  9. Berry J. W., et al. Acculturation attitudes in plural societies. Applied psychology, 1989. Vol. 38 (2), pp. 185—206. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.1989.tb01208.x
  10. Berry J. W. Mutual intercultural relations in plural societies (MIRIPS, 2014) Questionnaire [Electronic Resource]. URL: researchprojects/mirips (Accessed: 05.08.2019).
  11. Berry J.W. Intercultural relations in plural societies: Research derived from multiculturalism policy. Acta de investigación psicológica, 2013. Vol. 3 (2), pp. 1122—1135. doi: 10.1353/ces.2011.0033
  12. Bochner S. Culture shock due to contact with unfamiliar cultures. Online readings in psychology and culture, 2003. Vol. 8 (1), article 7, pp. 1—12. doi:10.9707/2307-0919.1073
  13. Bouncken R., Brem A., Kraus S. Multi—cultural teams as sources for creativity and innovation: The role of cultural diversity on team performance. International Journal of Innovation Management, 2016. Vol. 20 (1), pp. 1650012- 1 —1650012-34. doi:10.1142/S1363919616500122
  14. Chang J.H., et al. Multicultural families and creative children. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 2014. Vol. 45 (8), pp. 1288—1296. doi:10.1177/0022022114537556
  15. Cheng C.Y., Leung A.K. Revisiting the multicultural experience-creativity link: The effects of perceived cultural distance and comparison mind-set. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2013. Vol. 4 (4), pp. 475—482. doi: 10.1177/1948550612462413
  16. Cheng Y. Creativity under the gun How threat features and personal characteristics motivate creative responding [Electronic Resource]. URL: https://pdfs.semanticscholar. org/f987/5adc0573e828435f74da169f659a9fdfcd8f.pdf (Accessed: 03.08.2019).
  17. Chiu C.Y., Hong Y.Y. Cultural competence: Dynamic processes. In Elliot A., Dwecj C.S. (eds.), Handbook of motivation and competence. New York: Guilford, 2005, pp. 489—505. doi:10.1177/0022022113493716
  18. Chiu C., et al.. Motivated cultural cognition: The impact of implicit cultural theories on dispositional attribution varies as a function of need for closure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000. Vol 78 (2), pp 247—259. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.78.2.247
  19. Chua R.Y.J. Innovating at Cultural Crossroads: How Multicultural Social Networks Promote Ideas Flow and Creativity. Journal of Management, 2018. Vol. 44 (3), pp. 1119—1146. doi: 10.1177/0149206315601183
  20. Crisp R.J., Turner R.N. Cognitive adaptation to the experience of social and cultural diversity. Psychological Bulletin, 2011. Vol. 137 (2), pp. 242—266. doi: 10.1037/ a0021840
  21. CTS. Creativity Testing Services [Electronic Resource]. URL: products/ (Accessed: 03.08.2019).
  22. Dunne C. Can Intercultural Experiences Foster Creativity? The Relevance, Theory and Evidence. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 2017. Vol. 38 (2), pp. 189—212. doi: 10.1080/07256868.2017.1291495
  23. Fee A., Gray S.J. The expatriate—creativity hypothesis: A longitudinal field test. Human Relations, 2012. Vol. 65 (12), pp. 1515—1538. doi: 10.1177/0018726712454900
  24. Galinsky A.D., et al. Power reduces the press of the situation: implications for creativity, conformity, and dissonance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2008. Vol. 95 (6), pp. 1450—1466. doi: 10.1037/a0012633
  25. KEA European Affairs. The impact of culture on creativity. A Study prepared for the European Commission (Directorate-General for Education and Culture). [Electronic Resource]. URL: impactculturecreativityfull.pdf (Accessed: 03.08.2019).
  26. King P.M., Perez R.J., Shim W. How college students experience intercultural learning: Key features and approaches. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 2013. Vol 6 (2), pp. 69—83. doi: 10.1037/A0033243
  27. Leung A.K.Y., et al. Multicultural experience enhances creativity: The when and how. American psychologist, 2008. Vol. 63 (3), pp. 169—181. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.63.3.169
  28. Lu J.G., et al. “Going out” of the box: Close intercultural friendships and romantic relationships spark creativity, workplace innovation, and entrepreneurship. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2017. Vol. 102 (7), pp. 1091—1108. doi: 10.1037/apl0000212
  29. Maddux W.W., Adam H., Galinsky A.D. When in Rome... Learn why the Romans do what they do: How multicultural learning experiences facilitate creativity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2010. Vol. 36 (6), pp. 731—741. doi:10.1177/0146167210367786
  30. Maddux W.W., et al. Toward a More Complete Understanding of the Link Between Multicultural Experience and Creativity. American Psychologist, 2009. Vol. 64 (2), pp. 156—158. doi: 10.1037/a0014941
  31. Nemeth C.J., Wachtler J. Creative problem solving as a result of majority vs minority influence. European Journal of Social Psychology, 1983. Vol. 13 (1), pp. 45—55. doi:10.1002/ ejsp.2420130103
  32. Paulus P.B., van der Zee K.I., Kenworthy J. Cultural Diversity and Team Creativity. In Glăveanu V.P. (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity and Culture Research. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 57—76.
  33. Rich G.J. Big C., Little C., Big M., Little M. American Psychologist, 2009. Vol. 64 (2), pp. 155—156. doi:10.1037/ a0014533
  34. Ryabichenko T.A., Lebedeva N.M. Assimilation or integration: Similarities and differences between acculturation attitudes of migrants from Central Asia and Russians in Central Russia. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 2016. Vol. 9 (1), pp. 98—111. doi:10.11621/pir.2016.0107
  35. Sam D.L., Berry J.W. Acculturation: When individuals and groups of different cultural backgrounds meet. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2010. Vol. 5 (4), pp. 472—481. doi: 10.1177/1745691610373075
  36. Sawyer R.K. Explaining Creativity, The science of Human Innovation. Oxford University Press, 2006. 383 p.
  37. Simonton D.K. Origins of genius: Darwinian perspectives on creativity. Oxford University Press, 1999. 320 p.
  38. Stahl G.K., et al. Unraveling the effects of cultural diversity in teams: A meta—analysis of research on multicultural work groups. Journal of International Business Studies, 2010. Vol. 41 (4), pp. 690—709. doi:10.1057/jibs.2009.85
  39. Tadmor C.T., Tetlock P.E. Biculturalism: A model of the effects of second—culture exposure on acculturation and integrative complexity. Journal of Cross—Cultural Psychology, 2006. Vol. 37 (2), pp. 173—190. doi: 0.1177/0022022105284495
  40. Van Acker K., Vanbeselaere N. Bringing together acculturation theory and intergroup contact theory: Predictors of Flemings’ expectations of Turks’ acculturation behavior. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2011. Vol. 35 (3), pp. 334—345. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2010.06.004

Information About the Authors

Mariya A. Bultseva, Junior Research Fellow, Center for Socio-Cultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Nadezhda M. Lebedeva, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Director of the Center for Socio-Cultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Employee of the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 1310
Previous month: 8
Current month: 7


Total: 499
Previous month: 11
Current month: 4