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Open AccessArticle

Attentional Control in Bilingualism: An Exploration of the Effects of Trait Anxiety and Rumination on Inhibition

1
Department of Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education, University College London, Institute of Education, Department of Psychology and Human Development, London WC1E 6BT, UK
2
Multilanguage & Cognition lab (MULTAC), University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
3
Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(8), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9080089
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 27 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
Bilingual individuals have been reported to show enhanced executive function in comparison to monolingual peers. However, the role of adverse emotional traits such as trait anxiety and rumination in bilingual cognitive control has not been established. Attentional Control Theory holds that anxiety disproportionately impacts processing efficiency (typically measured via reaction time) in comparison to accuracy (performance effectiveness). We administered eye tracking and behavioural measures of inhibition to young, healthy monolingual and highly proficient bilingual adults. We found that trait anxiety was a reliable risk factor for decreased inhibitory control accuracy in bilingual but not monolingual participants. These findings, therefore, indicate that adverse emotional traits may differentially modulate performance in monolingual and bilingual individuals, an interpretation which has implications both for ACT and future research on bilingual cognition. View Full-Text
Keywords: bilingualism; Attentional Control Theory; executive function; trait anxiety; rumination; inhibitory control; eye tracking bilingualism; Attentional Control Theory; executive function; trait anxiety; rumination; inhibitory control; eye tracking
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Ouzia, J.; Bright, P.; Filippi, R. Attentional Control in Bilingualism: An Exploration of the Effects of Trait Anxiety and Rumination on Inhibition. Behav. Sci. 2019, 9, 89.

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