Re. Thinking in foreign language makes decisions more rational (Ars Technica)

arstechnica.com/science/news/2012/04/thinking-in-foreign-language-makes-decisions-more-rational.ars

This surely sounds like one of those dubious psychology experiments. U know the type, the type with a single or perhaps two small experiments that were slightly below p<0.05 and therefore publishable. So, i decided to take a look.

The Foreign-Language Effect Thinking in a Foreign Tongue Reduces Decision Biases

In general, there is not much to note about the study, except that technically speaking in a small detail, their study actually shows the opposite of what they think. The reason for this is that they gave the percentages as 33.3% and 66.6% instead of the correct 66.7%. Technically, this wud make the secure option always the best one by a small margin.

Anyway, i’d like to see some other people reproduce this effect in a larger sample size. I’m not keen on these 40-200 sample sizes in psychology.

The implications are interesting. So, suppose we now know that one makes more rational decisions (at least with regards to one cognitive bias) when thinking in a foreign language, what do we use this knowledge to? It is perhaps the most intresting reason to learn a foreign language i’ve heard of so far. Promoting rational thinking thru.. learning a new language. Strange, but it seems legit. Anyway, one cud force people to consider financial decisions in a foreign language, such as when taking a loan. I’d like to see some more research about this effect with regards to other biases.

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