Creativity Research Journal
Emerging theory and evidence suggest that intergroup relations may stimulate malevolent creativity, but the intergroup foundations of malevolent creativity remain unexplored. Drawing from theories of intergroup conflict, we argue that malevolent creativity can be understood through the lens of parochial altruism, one’s willingness to partake in personally risky activity to harm outgroups (i.e. parochialism) in favor of an ingroup (i.e. altruism). Accordingly, malevolent creativity can be viewed as the willful generation and consideration of novel ideas for oneself to enact harm on an outgroup on behalf of an ingroup. Many instances of parochial altruism such as war or terrorism begin from strong sentiments of ingroup love and become more likely when paired with reasons to aggress against an outgroup. Extending this logic to malevolent creativity, we contend that ingroup affinity predicts malevolent creativity and that this relation grows stronger when people hold hostile attitudes toward the outgroup––or, in the absence of hostility, are directly provoked by outgroup members. We test our propositions in a sample of 307 undergraduate students and find partial support for our predictions.
Tin L. Nguyen, Alexis L. d’Amato, Scarlett R. Miller & Samuel T. Hunter (11 Sep 2023): Malevolent Creativity as Parochial Altruism? Examining the Intergroup Bases of New and Harmful Ideas, Creativity Research Journal, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2023.2255011
Available for download on Tuesday, March 11, 2025