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.