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Kiasu and Creativity in Singapore: An Empirical Test of the Situated Dynamics Framework

  • Chi-Ying Cheng (a1) and Ying-Yi Hong (a2)
Abstract

This article investigates how Singaporeans’ creativity is influenced by Kiasu, an indigenous construct corresponding to fear of losing out. We examine the impact of Kiasu on creativity, both as a personal value and a shared cultural norm in four studies. Study 1 showed that Singaporeans’ Kiasu value endorsement predicts lower individual creativity. Study 2 demonstrated that this negative relationship is mediated by a self-regulatory focus on prevention. Study 3 further showed the impact of Kiasu as a personal value and a cultural norm by finding a significant three-way interaction effect of Kiasu prime, personal Kiasu value endorsement, and need for cognitive closure on participants’ creativity. Study 4 addressed the Singaporean paradox and found that Singaporeans exhibit higher creativity when primed with their multi-ethnic culture than under control conditions. However, those who associated Singapore with Kiasu lost this advantage. These findings support the situated dynamics framework of cultural influence on behavior such that values, norms, and situational cues play a role in producing a cultural pattern of creative performance. This research also has implications for how to incubate creative performance in Asian countries.

摘要:

本文探讨「怕输」、原文「惊输」这个新加坡本土构念如何影响个体的创造力。在本研究中, 「怕输」作为个人价值观与文化行为规范的效果均被检验。研究一显示, 新加坡受试者的个人「怕输」价值观负向预测其创造力。研究二显示受试者的预防取向中介前述负向关系。研究三显示个人「怕输」价值观、「怕输」文化行为规范, 以及认知闭合需求与受试者的创造力产生交互作用。研究四显示, 新加坡受试者在经历新加坡的多族裔文化的触发效应之后, 展现出较高的创造力。然而, 当触发新加坡文化令受试者对「怕输」构念产生联想时, 该触发效应无法提升受试者的创造力。本研究支持了文化情境动力论, 显示文化价值观、行为规范、及情境线索联合影响个体的创造力。本研究结果为亚洲国家如何提升创造力提供了理论基础和实践的建议。

यह शोध पत्र इस पर अनुसंधान करता है की किस प्रकार सिंगापुरवासियों की रचनात्मकता कियासु- हारने के भय सम्बन्धी एक देशज संरचना- से प्रभावित है. हमने चार अध्ययनों के माध्यम से कियासु के रचनात्मकता पर प्रभाव का निजी मूल्य तथा सहभाजीत सांस्कृतिक कायदे के रूप में किया है. प्रथम अध्ययन के अनुसार सिंगापुरवासियों का कियासु मूल्य अनुमोदन निम्न व्यक्तिगर सृजनात्मकता सूचित करता है. दूसरे अध्ययन ने यह दिखाया की इस नकारात्मक सम्बन्ध में स्व-नियंत्रक केन्द्रीयता मध्यस्थ है. तीसरे अध्ययन ने मूल कियासु, व्यक्तिगत कियासु मूल्य अनुमोदन व प्रतिभागियों की रचनात्मकता के संज्ञानात्मक समापन की आवश्यकता की त्रि-आयामी अन्तः क्रिया दिखाकर कियासु के व्यक्तिगत मूल्य तथा सांस्कृतिक कायदे के रूप में प्रभाव को दर्शाया है. चौथे अध्ययन ने सिंगापुर विडम्बना पर प्रकाश डाला दिखाया की सिंगापुरवासी बहुसांस्कृतिक मूल में नियंत्रण स्थिति की तुलना में अधिक रचनात्मकता दिखाते हैं. लेकिन जिन्होंने सिंगापुर को कियासु से जोड़ा उन्होंने यह अवसर खो दिया. यह निष्कर्ष प्रतिष्ठित गतिशीलता संरचना का समर्थन करते हैं जो व्यवहार पर सांस्कृतिक प्रभाव का अनुमोदन करता है जिससे मूल्य, कायदे और पारिस्थितिकीय संकेत रचनात्मक प्रदर्शन की सांस्कृतिक संरचना बनाने में योगदान देते हैं. इस शिव का एशिया में रचनात्मक प्रदर्शन incubate करने पर भी आशय है.

SUMÁRIO:

Este artigo investiga como a criatividade dos cingapurianos é influenciada por Kiasu, um construto local que corresponde ao medo da perda. Examinamos os impactos do Kiasu na criatividade, tanto como um valor pessoal quanto uma norma cultural compartilhada em quatro estudos. O estudo 1 mostrou que o endosso do valor de Kiasu dos cingapurianos prediz uma menor criatividade individual. O estudo 2 demonstrou que esse relacionamento negativo é mediado por um foco de autorregulação na prevenção. O estudo 3 mostrou ainda os impactos de Kiasu como um valor pessoal e uma norma cultural ao encontrar um significativo efeito de interação de três vias do Kiasu principal, endosso do valor pessoal de Kiasu e necessidade de fechamento cognitivo na criatividade dos participantes. O estudo 4 abordou o paradoxo de Cingapura e descobriu que os cingapurianos exibem uma maior criatividade quando preparados com sua cultura multiétnica do que sob condições de controle. No entanto, aqueles que associaram Singapura com o Kiasu perderam essa vantagem. Essas descobertas sustentam o modelo da dinâmico da situação da influência cultural sobre o comportamento, de modo que valores, normas e sinais situacionais desempenham um papel na produção de um padrão cultural de desempenho criativo. Esta pesquisa também tem implicações sobre como incubar o desempenho criativo em países asiáticos.

АННОТАЦИЯ:

В этой статье исследуется, как креативность сингапурцев зависит от киасу, т.е. национальной черты, которая подразумевает боязнь проигрыша. Мы изучаем влияние киасу на творчество, как в качестве личностной ценности, так и общей культурной нормы в четырех исследованиях. Первое исследование показало, что принятие ценности киасу у сингапурцев связано с более низкой индивидуальной креативностью. Второе исследование продемонстрировало, что эта обратная взаимосвязь опосредована саморегулируемым фокусом внимания. Далее, в третьей работе изучалось влияние киасу, в качестве личностной ценности и общей культурной нормы, на креативность участников через тройное взаимодействие первичного киасу, индивидуального принятия ценности киасу и потребности в когнитивном закрытии. В четвертом исследовании рассматривался сингапурский парадокс и было установлено, что сингапурцы демонстрируют более высокий творческий потенциал, когда они ориентированы на свою многонациональную культуру, чем в условиях контроля. Однако те, кто связывал Сингапур с киасу, потеряли это преимущество. Эти результаты подтверждают концепцию ситуативной динамики в отношении культурного влияния на поведение, т.е. что поведенческие ценности, нормы и ситуационные сигналы играют определенную роль в культурной структуре творческой деятельности. Данное исследование также делает практическое выводы о том, как стимулировать творческую деятельность в азиатских странах.

RESUMEN:

Este artículo investiga como la creatividad de los singapurenses es influenciada por Kiasu, un constructo autóctono correspondiente al miedo a perder. Examinamos los impactos de Kiasu en la creatividad, tanto como un valor personal como una norma cultural compartida en cuatro estudios. El estudio 1 mostró que el respaldo al valor de Kiasu de los singapurenses predice una creatividad individual menor. El estudio 2 demuestra que esta relación negativa es mediada por un enfoque auto-regulatorio en prevención. El estudio 3 mostró además los impactos del Kiasu como un valor personal y como una norma cultural al encontrar una interacción de tres vías significante del efecto del Kiasu principal, el respaldo al Kiasu personal, y la necesidad por un cierre cognitivo de la creatividad de los participantes. El estudio 4 aborda la paradoja singapurense y encuentra que los singapurenses exhiben una mayor creatividad cuando están preparados con una cultura multiétnica que bajo condiciones de control. Sin embargo, aquellos que asocian Singapur con Kiasu pierden esta ventaja. Estos hallazgos apoyan el marco de dinámicas situadas de la influencia cultural en el comportamiento de modo que los valores, las normas, y los impulsos situacionales juegan un papel en producir un patrón cultural de desempeño creativo. Esta investigación también tiene implicaciones en como incubar el desempeño creativo en países Asiáticos.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponding author: Chi-Ying Cheng (cycheng@smu.edu.sg)
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