Thinking in a foreign language, fast and slow

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Abstract

Several studies (Keysar et al., 2012; Lazar et al., 2014) suggest that decisions made in a foreign language are more rational. The authors imply that when thinking in a language which is not our native tongue, analytical, slow, deep-thinking is activated. The question that underlies the present article is whether this is a characteristic of every mental operation in the foreign medium. Studies carried out by Costa et al. (2014), Geipel et al. (2015) and Hadjichristidis et al. (2015) suggest the issue is much more complex than it may seem.

The answer to the question above was sought through a study in which 84 Polish advanced users of English as a foreign language were asked to solve mathematical problems from the Cognitive Reflection Test (Frederick, 2005). Initially the subjects were randomly assigned to two groups, who subsequently solved the problems in Polish (native tongue) and in English (foreign language). The article presents the results, discusses them and arrives at a number of conclusions as well as implications for further research.

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Polish Psychological Bulletin

The Journal of Committee for Psychological Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences

Journal Information


CiteScore 2016: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.185
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.258

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