See Inside June/July 2006

Two Languages, Two Minds

Many bilingual individuals say they feel like a different person depending on which language they are speaking. A new study lends credence to their claims.

Nairán Ramírez-Esparza, a psychology doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin, charted the personality traits of 225 Spanish/English bilingual subjects in both the U.S. and Mexico as they responded to questions presented in each language. Ramírez-Esparza and her colleagues found three significant differences: when using English, the bilinguals were more extraverted, agreeable and conscientious than when using Spanish.

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