Liou and Lan investigated “cultural differences in creative behaviors.” They report that “Western norms prioritize originality and Eastern norms usefulness. . . . Compared with Taiwanese, Americans generated more original ideas when they worked in a group or when the task required them to select ideas for further elaboration. . . . In contrast, compared with Americans, Taiwanese generated more useful ideas when they worked in a group or when the task required them to select ideas for further elaboration. . . . although Americans and Taiwanese were equally capable of generating original and useful ideas, Taiwanese teams tended to express useful ideas and hold back original ones in group discussion. In contrast, American teams tended to hold back useful ideas.”
Shyhnan Liou and Xuezhao Lan. “Situational Salience of Norms Moderates Cultural Differences in the Originality and Usefulness of Creative Ideas Generated or Selected by Teams.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, in press.