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The interplay between emotion and modality in the Foreign-Language effect on moral decision making

  • Susanne Brouwer (a1)

Abstract

This study examined whether the Foreign-Language effect, an increase in bilinguals’ rate of rational decisions to moral dilemmas in their foreign versus their native language, is influenced by emotion and the modality in which the dilemmas are presented. 154 Dutch–English bilinguals were asked to read and listen to personal and impersonal moral dilemmas in Dutch or in English. Importantly, the reading task had the character of a self-paced reading task to resemble the listening task as closely as possible. In both modalities, participants’ task was to indicate whether the proposed action was appropriate or not. Results showed that the Foreign-Language effect was present for personal dilemmas only. In addition, an effect of modality demonstrated that participants took overall more rational decisions during the listening than the reading task. These findings give insight in the interplay between language, emotion and task demands, revealing that moral decision making is context-dependent.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Susanne Brouwer, E-mail: s.brouwer@let.ru.nl

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The interplay between emotion and modality in the Foreign-Language effect on moral decision making

  • Susanne Brouwer (a1)

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