Thinking In A Second Language Makes Us More Rational

Thomas Oliver has a blog called I Wonder Why? at Eye On Spain.  He has written a post entitled Thinking In A Second Language Makes Us More Rational.  When making a decision, we will make a less emotional and more results-oriented choice if we process the information needed to make said decision in a language other than our mother tongue.  Albert Costa, bilingualism expert at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University says that using a second language to process information is good for deliberative thinking because it makes you think twice about things.

Thinking in a second language also appears to increase our tolerance for risk-taking. Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman says that our brain has two thinking systems. System One focuses on fast, instinctive, stereotypical thinking.  The brain uses System Two to process issues that require greater consideration.  We are more prone to use System One in our native language and System Two in our second language.  I am not clear on this, but I think Kahneman may be saying that we are less less comfortable taking risks when System One thinking is used.  When we take a risk using System Two thinking, we do so after it has been carefully thought through.   The pros and the cons have been more seriously evaluated, therefore, we are more comfortable and willing to take a risk.

Please Click Here to read Oliver’s blog post.



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