Working Paper BETA #2019-38

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Title : Looking at Creativity from East to West: Risk Taking and Intrinsic Motivation in Socially and Culturally Diverse Countries

Author(s) : Giuseppe Attanasi, Ylenia Curci, Patrick Llerena, Adriana Carolina Pinate, Maria del Pino Ramos-Sosa, Giulia Urso

Abstract : This article presents a mixed-methods research in the field of creativity. By making use of experiments and a questionnaire, it analyses how creativity is affected by three factors: i) motivation, ii) individuals’ attitudes towards risk and ambiguity and iii) social context. Each one of these factors has been extensively investigated in the theoretical and empirical literature getting to results still open to discussion. In particular, this research focuses on two aspects. First, we try to shed some light on the controversial findings linking risk taking and creativity that exist in the economic and psychology literature. To do so, we test the hypotheses that self perception of creative abilities may play a role in establishing a riskcreativity positive correlation. Second, being the three factors strongly influenced by culture, the study investigates whether the impacts on creativity may differ in diverse geographical locations. Following Attanasi et al. (2019), we exploit data from experiments performed in main cities of one eastern and one western country: Ho Chi Minh city (Vietnam) and Strasbourg (France). The information to build the risk and ambiguity factor derive from risk and ambiguity elicitation via lotteries. To account for motivation, different organizational scenarios are set in experimental treatments (financial incentives vs non financial incentives to collaborate). Finally, information on social context and self perception of creative abilities are collected through a self administrated questionnaire. In our analysis, we find that risk aversion, social habits and leisure activities have a positive effect on the creative performance of the French participants, while for Vietnamese the intrinsic motivation and the perception of their own creative capacities are positive correlated with creative scores. Our results suggest that in a country like France, social context has a strong influence on individual creativity, while for Vietnam individual features play a role in creativity, suggesting that the socio-cultural context has different impacts on creativity.

Key-words : experiments, risk, ambiguity, self-perceived creativity, motivation, geographical location, social context.

JEL Classification : I23, O31, O32