Language may influence how you think about others

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Washington, July 13 (ANI): The language a person speaks may influence their thoughts, according to a new study.

Researchers Shai Danziger of Ben-Gurion University and Robert Ward of Bangor University conducted a study amongst Arab Israelis who speak both Arabic and Hebrew.

"It's likely that a bilingual Arab Israeli will consider Arabs more positively in an Arab speaking environment than a Hebrew speaking environment," says Danziger.

The study found that the student volunteers found it easier to associate Arab names with "good" trait words and Jewish names with "bad" trait words than Arab names with "bad" trait words and Jewish names with "good" trait words.

In the Hebrew session, however, they showed less of a positive bias toward Arab names over Jewish names.

"The language we speak can change the way we think about other people," says Ward.

Danziger himself learned both Hebrew and English as a child. "I am a bilingual and I believe that I actually respond differently in Hebrew than I do in English. I think in English I'm more polite than I am in Hebrew," he says.

The results are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. (ANI)

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