Honors College Thesis

 

The Effects of Language on Cognitive Flexibility and Related Properties of Executive Functioning Public Deposited

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  • In the literature, a controversy persists over whether speaking multiple languages may result in what has been referred to as a bilingual advantage that is advantages for executive functioning (EF) skills. While evidence in favor of such a has been reported, the reliability of these findings has been questioned. To provide additional evidence towards this debate, the current study addresses an important concern that is convergent validity between EF tasks. Seeking to replicate earlier findings of a bilingual advantage, if it does exist, we hypothesized that multilinguals (those speaking two or more languages) would consistently outperform their monolingual peers across measures of cognitive flexibility. Results show no reliable difference in between group performance for any of these measures, providing strong evidence against the argument for a bilingual advantage. Consistent with a number of other recent studies, we are adding to a growing body of literature that has failed to replicate that a bilingual advantage truly exists.
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