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Title:Does bilingualism confer perspective-taking advantages in language use?
Author(s):Ryskin, Rachel
Advisor(s):Brown-Schmidt, Sarah
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.A.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):bilingualism
spatial
perspective-taking
language
eye-tracking
executive function
Abstract:The bilingual advantage hypothesis proposes that being bilingual leads to benefits in cognitive abilities that are mediated by superior executive control. Bilingual children demonstrate accelerated mastery of basic cognitive skills such as inhibition control (Carlson & Meltzoff, 2008) and are thought to have cognitive advantages in a variety of domains (Bialystok, Craik, & Luk, 2012), including insights into the perspective of others, i.e., theory of mind (Kovacs, 2009). However, little is known about the long-term impacts of bilingualism on cognition, including whether bilingual children’s advantages in inhibitory control confer lasting advantages in adulthood, and whether these advantages extend to other domains. Here we examine the effects of bilingualism on adult cognition, focusing on perspective-taking in language processing, a domain which is thought to place particular demands on the executive control system. We conclude that the results of two experiments comparing perspective-taking abilities in monolingual and bilingual adults offer no support for the hypothesis that bilingualism improves the ability to appreciate the perspective of another person during language comprehension. In fact, bilinguals seem to have more difficulty interpreting spatial language.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/42199
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Rachel Ryskin
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12


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