There will be a departmental talk next Tuesday on 29 Mar (4pm) by Dr. Angela Leung. More details are appended below. This talk will be held in Seminar Room B, AS7-01-17 (please note the change in venue from last week). For more information on talks, please visit the departmental blog at http://blog.nus.edu.sg/psychology/.
Title: Embodied Metaphors and Creative “Acts”
Creativity is a highly sought after skill. To inspire people’s creative insight, prescriptive advice in the form of metaphors abound: We are encouraged to think outside the box, to consider the problem on one hand, then on the other hand, and to put two and two together to achieve creative breakthroughs. These metaphors suggest a connection between concrete bodily experiences and creative cognition. Inspired by recent advances on body-mind linkages under the emerging vernacular of embodied cognition, we explored for the first time whether physically enacting metaphors for creativity can enhance creative problem-solving. In five studies, findings revealed that both physically and psychologically embodying creative metaphors promote performance in various creativity tasks. Going beyond prior research that focused primarily on the kind of embodiment that builds upon activation of preexisting knowledge, we set out to demonstrate that the cognitive processes conducive for generating previously unknown ideas and connections can also be embodied.
Angela Ka-yee Leung is an assistant professor of Psychology at the Singapore Management University. She received her PhD in social psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research seeks to understand how people participate actively in dynamic cultural processes in both intra- and inter-cultural contexts as well as the psychological implications for multicultural competence (e.g., creativity and intercultural communication). She is also interested in the role of embodiment (or bodily interactions with the environment) in the acquisition and endorsement of cultural values. Her edited book volume Cultural Processes: A Social Psychological Perspective (Cambridge University Press 2011) proposes an original process model of culture that extends contemporary social psychological theories of social cognition and social motivation to explain why culture matters in human psychology.