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Article

Considering Preventative Care in a Native vs. Non-native Language: A Foreign Language Effect

1
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
2
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yang Zhang
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(10), 1309; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11101309
Received: 26 August 2021 / Revised: 22 September 2021 / Accepted: 27 September 2021 / Published: 1 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurocognitive Underpinnings of the Foreign Language Effect)
Every day, multilinguals around the world make important healthcare decisions while using a foreign language. The present study examined how the use of a native vs. non-native language shapes evaluations and decisions about preventative care. Bilinguals were randomly assigned to evaluate a series of medical scenarios in either their native or non-native language. Each scenario described potential adverse effects of a medical condition and a preventative treatment, as well as the population risk of disease- or treatment-related complications. Participants judged the perceived negativity and likelihood of experiencing adverse effects and indicated how willing they would be to accept the preventative treatment. We found that bilinguals using a foreign language perceived disease symptoms and treatment side effects to be less negative than those using their native tongue. Foreign language users were also more likely to account for the objective risks associated with medical conditions and treatments when making decisions about preventative care. We conclude that the use of a native vs. foreign language changes how people evaluate the consequences of accepting and declining preventative treatment, with potential implications for millions of providers and patients who routinely make medical choices in their non-native tongue. View Full-Text
Keywords: foreign language; medical judgment; preventative healthcare; bilingualism; scope insensitivity; risk perception foreign language; medical judgment; preventative healthcare; bilingualism; scope insensitivity; risk perception
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hayakawa, S.; Pan, Y.; Marian, V. Considering Preventative Care in a Native vs. Non-native Language: A Foreign Language Effect. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 1309. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11101309

AMA Style

Hayakawa S, Pan Y, Marian V. Considering Preventative Care in a Native vs. Non-native Language: A Foreign Language Effect. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(10):1309. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11101309

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hayakawa, Sayuri, Yue Pan, and Viorica Marian. 2021. "Considering Preventative Care in a Native vs. Non-native Language: A Foreign Language Effect" Brain Sciences 11, no. 10: 1309. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11101309

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