What Not To Ask At a Dinner Party (II)

13 Mar 2017

What Not To Ask At a Dinner Party

Why are Asians Less Creative
Part II

By Dr DH Kim

From last week’s piece, it was noted that statistically speaking, a Jewish person is more than 625 times more likely to win a Nobel Prize than an Asian person. In fact, Jewish people are well-represented in all innovative achievements. For example, they make up some of greatest musicians of the 20th century: over 25% of the conductors, 40% of the pianists, 50% of the cellists, and 65% of the violinists.

We wondered why.

We continue this intriguing deliberation process and get some thought-provoking answers…


It’s because of CATs.

CATs stand for three practical steps for innovation, which is achievable in any culture. They are: cultivate creative CLIMATES (step 1); nurture creative ATTITUDES (step 2); and apply creative THINKING SKILLS). 

The most critical part of a creative process is the CLIMATES, rather than the creation or the creator. Fortunately, climates are the part we have the most control over. Individuals' climates include their culture, physical and psychological conditions, interpersonal relationships, developmental processes, and prevailing biases.

All aspects of climates deeply influence how individuals think and have the potential to encourage or discourage creative behaviour.

Jewish parenting/teaching priorities are very effective at cultivating the 4S climates (soil, sun, storm, and space), which nurture their children’s 4S attitudes, which contribute to ION thinking skills (Inbox, Outbox & Newbox).


4S Climates Jewish Parents/Educators Nurture, Which All Innovators Exhibit

Storm attitudes
Independence, self-efficacy (true self-confidence from knowing their specific strengths), resilience, & risk-taking
Soil attitudes Open-mindedness, biculturalism, & resourcefulness by providing children with diverse resources & experiences (soil climate)
Sun attitudes Curiosity, optimism, & big-picture thought by providing their children with inspiration & encouragement (sun climate)
Space attitudes Emotional expressiveness, autonomy, nonconformity, & defiance by providing children with the freedom to be alone and unique (space climate)

The opposing 4P Climates Confucian Parenting/ Teaching Follow

First P Hierarchical relationships Age is a mark of wisdom & authority: Practice hierarchy by teaching children with the use of control & power – Instil dependence & obedience in children & unwavering acceptance of the information taught
  • Stifles children’s independence, autonomy, critical thinking, nonconformity, & defiance 
  • Limits ION thinking skills by hindering cross-pollination, which is sharing ideas &/or working with other experts in an equal relationship
Second P Academic diligence & success Only value academic work, which is practice-intensive, homework-heavy, & result-driven, & they do not value children’s play, daydreaming, or CPI
  • Hinders the development of children’s curious, spontaneous, energetic, & daydreaming attitudes
Third P Filial piety (parents’ unquestioned authority) & loyalty Highly involved and make enormous sacrifices for children’s academic success. In return, children seek to become wealthy & reach high social status so that they can repay parents for the sacrifices made, which leaves little room for charity
  • Stifles children’s big-picture thought, compassion, & cross-pollination 
  • Research shows that the extreme competitiveness has resulted in Asian students’ prevalence of plagiarism & lack of original ideas
Fourth P Harmony & conformity Teach children to be modest & not act different from others
  • Sacrifices not only children’s self-confidence but also their individuality and uniqueness

Follow Dr Kim @Kreativity_Kim on Twitter

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