April 27, 2012

Study: Thinking in a Foreign Language Leads to More Rational Decisions

Second Language Translates Into Clearer Thinking
New research finds people make more rational financial decisions when they consider their options using their second language.
By Tom Jacobs
April 24, 2012

A research team led by psychologist Boaz Keysar reports using one’s second language reduces or eliminates certain biases that otherwise infiltrate our decision-making. Specifically, our aversion to potential loss — a bias that can lead us to pass up promising opportunities for potential gains — diminishes as we ponder options in a language learned later in life.

“People who routinely make decisions in a foreign language rather than their native tongue might be less biased in their savings, investment, and retirement decisions,” the researchers write in the journal Psychological Science. “Over a long time horizon, this might very well be beneficial.”

Read the full article at http://www.psmag.com/education/second-language-translates-into-clearer-thinking-41740

Read a related article at http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/04/language-and-bias

Access the original article at http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/04/18/0956797611432178

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