Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another Benefit for Learning a Foreign Language

From Dr. Jing Luo, chairperson of the Department of Languages and Cultures

Have you found that you tend to be more “outspoken” in a foreign language?  You are not alone.  In fact, the explanation is well accepted: we feel more distant from what makes us blush or sound offensive when we say those things in a foreign tongue.  

Fewer may have realized, however, that because of this distance, one tends to keep the mind cooler when formulating a judgment in a foreign language.  

A recent study by researchers from The University of Chicago, Boaz Keysar, Sayuri L. Hayakawa, and SunGyu An, tried to prove the “foreign-language effect” whereby thinking in a foreign tongue has the benefit of reducing decision biases.  Here is the article for curious readers:

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