“We tried to see how people who have to deal with seemingly in-conflict culture or gender identities cope,” Dr. Cheng told me. Their conclusion was that people who have found a way to reconcile their two identities — Asian-Americans, for example, or women who work in male-dominated jobs like engineering — are the best at finding creative solutions to problems.

“Those who see their identities as compatible, they are better at combining ideas from the two identities to come up with something new,” Dr. Cheng said. “While those who also share these two social identities, but see them as being in conflict, they cannot come up with new ideas.”


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