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ERIC Number: EJ965218
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Reasoning about Other People's Beliefs: Bilinguals Have an Advantage
Rubio-Fernandez, Paula; Glucksberg, Sam
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v38 n1 p211-217 Jan 2012
Bilingualism can have widespread cognitive effects. In this article we investigate whether bilingualism might have an effect on adults' abilities to reason about other people's beliefs. In particular, we tested whether bilingual adults might have an advantage over monolingual adults in false-belief reasoning analogous to the advantage that has been observed with bilingual children. Using a traditional false-belief task coupled with an eye-tracking technique, we found that adults in general suffer interference from their own perspective when reasoning about other people's beliefs. However, bilinguals are reliably less susceptible to this egocentric bias than are monolinguals. Moreover, performance on the false-belief task significantly correlated with performance on an executive control task. We argue that bilinguals' early sociolinguistic sensitivity and enhanced executive control may account for their advantage in false-belief reasoning. (Contains 6 footnotes and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey