Using foreign language increases rationality

114336952A new study from psychologists at the University of Chicago and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona finds that people using a foreign language take a relatively utilitarian approach to moral dilemmas, making decisions based on assessments of what’s best for the common good. That pattern holds even when the utilitarian choice would produce an emotionally difficult outcome, such as sacrificing one life so others could live.



  1. Very interesting scenarios and finding! I wonder what decisions people who speak two or more 2nd languages would make in these scenarios (or other more realistic ones), bearing in mind that each language comes with its own culture and values! That’s another thesis for you. Cheers!

    Alaa Al-Musalli, Ph.D.

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