How learning another language helps your decision-making

  • admins

    There are so many discussions out there about the benefits of learning another language. It supports logical reasoning, abstract thinking, and problem solving — among other modes of thinking.

    A recent study from the University of Chicago reveals that it also influences our decision-making.

    Psychology professor and communications expert Boaz Keysar recently published a paper called “The Foreign Language Effect: Thinking in a Foreign Tongue Reduces Decision Biases.”

    Keysar and his research team found that because another language may trigger less "emotional resonance" that it may aid in rational decision-making.

    Do you feel like this is true? Have you experienced this yourself?

  • Hi Jen. I do think that learning another language has many advantages including logical thinking. I also feel, as an older person, it keeps my brain active and could help with some of the dementia's that afflict the older generations.
    Loving Lingvist !

  • I feel like I'm more rational when I think about things in English (I'm native German). However, the reason for that may be that I study philosophy and English at university which are both taught in English :). Also I swear a lot more in English than in German.

  • admins

    I totally know what you mean about the swearing in your native language. I've got three mother tongues and I will very rarely swear in the two that my family speaks (Spanish and Italian) but will do so freely in my third (English). I guess it's got a lot to do with social pressure from the people around us to teach us not to swear that also has an effect too.

  • Lingvist graduate

    Although this might come off as surprising (due to my name), I'm not entirely a native speaker, but my father is. I wouldn't call myself one because there are little to no opportunities here in Central Europe to use the language.
    So here's the thing: I won't dare to say a swear word in my mother tongue. I use the softer versions instead (eg, sugar instead of shit). In English, however, I've got no boundaries. I could scream the utmost vulgarities at the top off my lungs and I wouldn't care.
    I don't feel that it's inappropriate. I only know it is. In my native language, I would be utterly disgusted by it, but in English? Nothing. They're like any other words - I might as well call you an apple and it would mean exactly the same to me.

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