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      Thinking in a Foreign language reduces the causality bias


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          The purpose of this research is to investigate the impact of a foreign language on the causality bias (i.e., the illusion that two events are causally related when they are not). We predict that using a foreign language could reduce the illusions of causality. A total of 36 native English speakers participated in Experiment 1, 80 native Spanish speakers in Experiment 2. They performed a standard contingency learning task, which can be used to detect causal illusions. Participants who performed the task in their native tongue replicated the illusion of causality effect, whereas those performing the task in their foreign language were more accurate in detecting that the two events were causally unrelated. Our results suggest that presenting the information in a foreign language could be used as a strategy to debias individuals against causal illusions, thereby facilitating more accurate judgements and decisions in non-contingent situations. They also contribute to the debate on the nature and underlying mechanisms of the foreign language effect, given that the illusion of causality is rooted in basic associative processes.

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          Judgment of contingency in depressed and nondepressed students: sadder but wiser?

          How are humans' subjective judgments of contingencies related to objective contingencies? Work in social psychology and human contingency learning predicts that the greater the frequency of desired outcomes, the greater people's judgments of contingency will be. Second, the learned helplessness theory of depression provides both a strong and a weak prediction concerning the linkage between subjective and objective contingencies. According to the strong prediction, depressed individuals should underestimate the degree of contingency between their responses and outcomes relative to the objective degree of contingency. According to the weak prediction, depressed individuals merely should judge that there is a smaller degree of contingency between their responses and outcomes than nondepressed individuals should. In addition, the present investigation deduced a new strong prediction from the helplessness theory: Nondepressed individuals should overestimate the degree of contingency between their responses and outcomes relative to the objective degree of contingency. In the experiments, depressed and nondepressed students were present with one of a series of problems varying in the actual degree of contingency. In each problem, subjects estimated the degree of contingency between their responses (pressing or not pressing a button) and an environmental outcome (onset of a green light). Performance on a behavioral task and estimates of the conditional probability of green light onset associated with the two response alternatives provided additional measures for assessing beliefs about contingencies. Depressed students' judgments of contingency were surprisingly accurate in all four experiments. Nondepressed students, on the other hand, overestimated the degree of contingency between their responses and outcomes when noncontingent outcomes were frequent and/or desired and underestimated the degree of contingency when contingent outcomes were undesired. Thus, predictions derived from social psychology concerning the linkage between subjective and objective contingencies were confirmed for nondepressed students but not for depressed students. Further, the predictions of helplessness theory received, at best, minimal support. The learned helplessness and self-serving motivational bias hypotheses are evaluated as explanations of the results. In addition, parallels are drawn between the present results and phenomena in cognitive psychology, social psychology, and animal learning. Finally, implications for cognitive illusions in normal people, appetitive helplessness, judgment of contingency between stimuli, and learning theory are discussed.
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            CEO Overconfidence and Corporate Investment

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              Metacognitive Experiences in Consumer Judgment and Decision Making


                Author and article information

                Q J Exp Psychol (Hove)
                Q J Exp Psychol (Hove)
                Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (2006)
                SAGE Publications (Sage UK: London, England )
                16 February 2018
                January 2019
                : 72
                : 1 , Special Issue on Language, Emotion and Decision Making
                : 41-51
                [1-1747021818755326]Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao, Spain
                Author notes
                [*]Helena Matute, Departamento de Fundamentos y Métodos de la Psicología, Universidad de Deusto, Apartado 1, 48080 Bilbao, Spain. Email: matute@ 123456deusto.es
                © Experimental Psychology Society 2018

                This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

                Special Issue Articles
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                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                cognitive biases,foreign language effect,illusion of causality,causality bias,contingency judgements,debiasing


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