Friday, July 4, 2008
According to researchers David Luna, of Baruch College, and Torsten Ringberg and Laura Peracchio, of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, bilingual people may unconsciously change their personalities when they switch languages. The study found that Hispanic women who actively speak in both English and Spanish interpreted the same events differently, depending on which language they were using. They found that the women classified themselves and others as more assertive when they spoke Spanish than when they spoke English. It is known that people in general can switch between different ways of interpreting events and feelings – a phenomenon known as frame shifting, but the researchers say their work shows that bilingual people that are active in two different cultures do it more readily, and that language is the trigger.