Title

The Linguistic Relativity of Person Cognition: An English-Chinese Comparison

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-1986

Abstract

Examined the possibility that distinct languages are capable of exerting language-specific effects on people's impressions of and memory for other individuals. Parallel English- and Chinese-language descriptions were created of 2 characters exemplifying personality schemas with economical labels in English but not in Chinese, and 2 characters exemplifying personality schemas with economical labels in Chinese but not in English. Three groups of 12 undergraduates participated as Ss-English monolinguals, Chinese-English bilinguals who read and responded in English, and Chinese-English bilinguals who read and responded in Chinese. It was predicted that Ss processing the target descriptions in English would show greater evidence of schematic thinking in the case of the characters representing English-labeled schemas, whereas Ss processing the target descriptions in Chinese would show greater evidence of schematic thinking in the case of the characters representing Chinese-labeled schemas. This prediction was confirmed. Both impressions and memory were affected when the target's personality and behavior conformed to a labeled schema in the S's language of processing.

Keywords

English vs Chinese language descriptions of target character's personality schemes with economical labels, impressions and memory, English monolingual vs Chinese-English bilingual college student who read and responded in English vs Chinese

Discipline

Cognition and Perception | Multicultural Psychology

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Volume

51

Issue

6

First Page

1097

Last Page

1105

ISSN

0022-3514

Identifier

10.1037/0022-3514.51.6.1097

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.51.6.1097

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