The limits of the foreign language effect on decision-making: The case of the outcome bias and the representativeness heuristic

  • Publication type: Article
  • EDS: .
  • Journal: PLoS ONE
  • Publishing house: .
  • Year: 2018
  • DOI: DOI
  • authors: Melina Aparici,
  • elbec members involved: Melina Aparici

Language context (native vs. foreign) affects people’s choices and preferences in a wide variety of situations. However, emotional reactions are a key component driving people’s choices in those situations. In six studies, we test whether foreign language context modifies biases and the use of heuristics not directly caused by emotional reactions. We fail to find evidence that foreign language context modifies the extent to which people suffer from outcome bias (Experiment 1a & 1b) and the use of the representativeness heuristic (Experiment 2a & 2b). Furthermore, foreign language context does not modulate decision-making in those scenarios even when emotion is brought into the context (Experiment 1c & 2c). Foreign language context shapes decision-making, but the scope of its effects might be limited to decision-making tendencies in which emotion plays a causal role.