Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effects of bilingualism on inhibitory control and divergent thinking: Investigating the roles of proficiency and frequency of use
by Altamimi, Abdulaziz, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 107; 10137429
Abstract (Summary)

Despite the vast research on the relationship between bilingualism and cognition, no consensus has been reached about the positive impact of bilingualism and how various bilingual parameters may be effective to varying degrees. Thus, the purpose of this research is to examine the effects of bilingualism on inhibitory control and divergent thinking by assigning language learners to groups reflecting different bilingual background experience. To address this issue, 114 second language learners, assigned to three groups based on L2 frequency of use and L2 proficiency, were compared to 38 monolinguals in their performance at the Simon task (inhibitory control test) and the Alternate Uses Test (divergent thinking test). Inhibitory control results demonstrated that the positive effect of bilingualism was only found among the L2 group exhibiting the most frequent and regular use of L2. Findings of the divergent thinking task indicated similar performance across different L2 groups compared to the monolingual group. Results are discussed in light of how frequency of L2 use may improve inhibitory control by engaging similar mechanisms recruited for language control. Light is also shed on how different bilingual variables, such as the age of acquisition, may obscure the advantage of bilingualism on divergent thinking. Implications for this study are its relevance to the larger population of language learners and its contribution to the advancement of our understanding of the research gap surrounding how different linguistic parameters may influence the bilingual advantage.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Abbuhl, Rebekha
Commitee: Fender, Michael, Finney, Malcolm
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Sociolinguistics
Keywords: Bilingual usage and inhibitory control, Bilingualism and cognition, Divergent thinking, Effects of proficiency and language use on the bilingual advantage, Inhibitory control, Proficiency and the bilingual advantage
Publication Number: 10137429
ISBN: 978-1-339-93122-7
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