Switching Languages May = Switching Personalities

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sun Jun 29 13:03:35 UTC 2008

Switching Languages May = Switching Personalities
Fascinating study:

People who are bicultural and speak two languages may actually shift
their personalities when they switch from one language to another,
according to new research. . . .The authors studied groups of Hispanic
women, all of whom were bilingual, but with varying degrees of
cultural identification. They found significant levels of
"frame-shifting" (changes in self perception) in bicultural
participants--those who participate in both Latino and Anglo culture.
. . .

In one of the studies, a group of bilingual U.S. Hispanic women viewed
ads that featured women in different scenarios. The participants saw
the ads in one language (English or Spanish) and then, six months
later, they viewed the same ads in the other language. Their
perceptions of themselves and the women in the ads shifted depending
on the language. "One respondent, for example, saw an ad's main
character as a risk-taking, independent woman in the Spanish version
of the ad, but as a hopeless, lonely, confused woman in the English
version," write the authors.


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