Testing Effects of Bilingualism on Inhibition, Shifting and Working Memory Ability in Adults

  • Author / Creator
    Anjomshoae, Farzaneh
  • Bilingualism is a prevalent experience and the notion of bilingual advantage in cognitive abilities has been debated hotly over the past decades. Researchers have sought to investigate the long-term impacts of knowing a second language on executive function (EF) enrichment. Some studies have found a bilingual advantage in executive functioning skills, including inhibition, attention, working memory, mental flexibility, creativity, and problem-solving. Other studies have failed to replicate these findings. Yet other studies found a bilingual disadvantage in some EF tasks. The first aim of this study was to test for a bilingual advantage in EF among a large number of young adults. One possible reason for the varied results in previous studies is that some variables might moderate the relationship between bilingualism and EFs. Another aim of this study is to investigate whether this bilingual advantage is moderated by age of acquisition (AoA), socioeconomic status (SES), and immigration status. The findings showed no difference between monolinguals and bilinguals on EF tasks and the abovementioned variables did not show a moderating effect. These results do not support the argument that there is a bilingual advantage in EF. I discuss other possible variables that might contribute to the mixed results across studies.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.