Authors: Alexandra S. Dylman, Marie-France Champoux-Larsson

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104148

 

Abstract

We report three experiments investigating the boundaries of the Foreign Language effect in decision making (examining both risk aversion and moral dilemmas), when the foreign language is culturally influential, or when there is high linguistic similarity between the native language and the foreign language. Specifically, we found no Foreign Language effect in the Asian disease problem (Experiment 1a) or the footbridge moral dilemma (Experiment 2a) in Swedish-English bilinguals, but did find a Foreign Language effect for both these tasks in Swedish-French bilinguals (Experiments 1b and 2b). Additionally, we found no Foreign Language effect for moral dilemmas when the language pair was linguistically similar by testing Swedish-Norwegian and Norwegian-Swedish bilinguals (Experiment 3). These results indicate possible boundaries to the Foreign Language effect in decision making and propose that factors such as cultural influence and linguistic similarity diminish the Foreign Language effect.