Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Traveling abroad has always been portrayed in literature as a way to refinement. When I think of the dream of traveling to foreign lands, I can’t help but think of Jo from Little Women and her wish to travel. My interest in traveling to other countries was piqued this week because one of my clients is considering a three-month trip to Italy. According to the article I found for today, written by Audrey Hamilton from the APA, traveling abroad might actually boost creativity! So this might be one more reason for my client to make that trip.
The article covers many experiments done by Dr. Adam Galinsky, PhD, and his team, (I encourage you to check out the article to read about the various experiments), but the one I found most relevant to writing is the following:
Two groups of students were told to write an essay as a priming technique for the experiment. One group was instructed to write about their experience traveling abroad; the other group was instructed to write about something mundane, like a trip to the grocery store. After the “priming,” the two groups were asked to perform tasks like drawing an alien or solving word puzzles. The groups were monitored during these experiments, and the research team determined that those who had written about their experience abroad were more creative in their execution of the tasks.
None of the experiments measuring creativity in this study measured creativity specifically in writing, but I would love to see a study where they had a group of students who are currently abroad write an essay on a mundane topic and a group of students at home write about the same topic with impartial graders judging creativity between the two groups. The results would be interesting for sure!
Have you ever spent time abroad? Did you write and/or feel more creative while you were there?
What in your experience might either prove or disprove this experiment’s finding?