Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Effects of bilingualism on working memory ability
by Baker, Christine M., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 68; 1522557
Abstract (Summary)

Much evidence exists in support of the notion known as a bilingual advantage, the idea that some bilinguals benefit from an executive functioning system superior to monolinguals. The majority of research investigating the bilingual advantage lies in metalinguistic awareness, conflict resolution, and inhibition; however, this thesis examines working-memory abilities by comparing the performance of English monolingual and Spanish-English bilingual groups in a dual task paradigm, taxing lexical retrieval and memory maintenance and manipulation. Participants were asked to perform a lexical retrieval task eliciting high-frequency abstract nouns or adjectives while simultaneously memorizing an accumulating list of target abstract words to be later recalled. Although no difference in immediate recall between language groups was found, bilinguals remembered significantly more target words 5 days after testing. Evidence suggests that bilinguals may build new memory representations that are more resistant to decay than monolingual memory representations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Abbuhl, Rebekha
Commitee: Finney, Malcolm, Giralt, Nuria
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 51/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Cognitive psychology
Publication Number: 1522557
ISBN: 978-1-303-01968-5
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