Reduced language processing automaticity induces weaker emotions in bilinguals regardless of learning context

Thoma, Dieter ; Baum, Amanda

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2019
The title of a journal, publication series: Emotion
Volume: 19
Issue number: 6
Page range: 1023-1034
Place of publication: Washington, DC
Publishing house: American Psychological Assoc.
ISSN: 1528-3542 , 1931-1516
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Anglistik I - Anglistische Linguistik (Tracy 1995-2019)
Subject: 400 Language, linguistics
Keywords (English): language ; emotion ; bilingualism ; processing ; embodiment
Abstract: While the evidence for impoverished emotional reactions of bilinguals in their weaker second language (L2) accumulates, the underlying mechanisms of this effect remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate how unbalanced bilinguals’ language-specific emotions vary depending on differences in language processing automaticity versus in language learning and use contexts. We analyzed behavioral emotional reactions in a hypothetical decision-making task with low emotional appeal, the Asian disease problem (Study 1) and pupil and valence responses to authentic narrative video advertising with high emotional appeal (Study 2). Both studies replicated the L2 emotion disadvantage. In decision-making, L2 reactions paralleled first language reactions under perceptual load. During the L2 narrative, the pupil dilated less because of reduced lexical access automaticity rather than in response to language-context factors. The findings suggest that bilinguals have language-independent emotional representations. Yet, they process emotional information conveyed in L2 less automatically, which triggers weaker emotional reactions.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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BASE: Thoma, Dieter ; Baum, Amanda

Google Scholar: Thoma, Dieter ; Baum, Amanda

ORCID: Thoma, Dieter ORCID: 0000-0001-6984-623X ; Baum, Amanda

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