“Why America Needs Immigrants” is an article by Jonah Lehrer in The Wall Street Journal.

He discusses the usual stuff you’d expect about the need for highly skilled entrepreneurs, but also adds an interesting perspective:

But the advantages of immigration aren’t limited to those with particular academic backgrounds. In recent years, psychologists have discovered that exposing people to different cultures, either through travel abroad or diversity in their hometown, can also make them more creative. When we encounter other cultures we become more willing to consider multiple interpretations of the same thing. Take leaving food on one’s plate: In China, it’s often a compliment, signaling that the host has provided enough to eat. But in America it can suggest that the food wasn’t good.

People familiar with such cultural contrasts are more likely to consider alternate possibilities when problem-solving, instead of settling for their first answer. As a result, they score significantly higher on tests of creativity. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that many of the most innovative places in the world, such as Silicon Valley and New York City, are also the most diverse.

I’m adding this post to The Best Sites For Learning About Immigration In The United States.

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