Switching languages = Switching personalities

“Language can be a cue that activates different culture-specific frames”

(David Luna, Torsten Ringberg and Laura A. Peracchio)

Menurut sebuah penelitian, apabila kita hidup dalam kebudayaan yang beragam dan speaking more than one language, kita juga mempunyai kepribadian yang beragam. Hal ini karena kebudayaan memberikan pandangan dan values yang berbeda termasuk self-perception kita.

Berikut artikel lengkap yang diambil dari website Discovery Channel :

Switching languages could cause you to switch personalities: study
6/25/2008 2:36:00 PM – Dragana Kovacevic

If you’re bicultural and bilingual, you may not necessarily be the same person in both languages, a recent study suggests. When you switch from one language to another, you may subconsciously be channelling a different persona.  “Language can be a cue that activates different culture-specific frames,” write the study’s authors, David Luna, Torsten Ringberg and Laura A. Peracchio. Culture-specific frames provide the basis for your worldview, centred around beliefs, values, etc., appropriate to your culture(s). They also include your self-perception.

One individual, two identities

The team – based out of Baruch College and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – studied several groups of Hispanic women, all of whom were bilingual but who had varying degrees of cultural identification with Latino and Anglo cultures.

They found dramatic shifts in frame-shifting in women who identified with both. Furthermore, these women also switched frames more quickly and easily than bilingual women who were monoculturals (in other words, those who only identified with one culture).

This was especially evident when it came to their self-perception of assertiveness; bicultural women classified themselves as more assertive when they spoke Spanish than when they spoke English.

One ad, two languages

This shift in perception also translated to the world of advertising, and particularly the perception of women in ads. In one test, researchers presented a group of bilingual U.S. Hispanic women with identical ads – each in English and Spanish. The participants viewed ads featuring women in different scenarios, first in one language and then six months later, in the other language.

“In the Spanish-language sessions, informants perceived females as more self-sufficient and extroverted,” write the authors. “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.”

This subconscious shift in perception may have broad implications for consumer behaviour and political choices among biculturals.

The study’s findings appear in the Journal of Consumer Research.


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