Scientists from the University of Chicago say that communication in a foreign language makes people less emotional about making certain choices. Removing the emotion out of the equation results in more utilitarian solutions.
This may be the reason why Russian women who struggled to find a long-term partner at home find it easier to connect with foreign men. While speaking in a foreign language, they are acting less expressively, which helps them to achieve their goal — establish a long-term relationship without interruption of emotional outbursts.
Speaking foreign language dials down emotions
Psychologists from the University of Chicago discovered that a dilemma of saving many people’s lives by sacrificing one person was chosen by participants more often if they were asked the question in a language that was foreign to them. Normally, if test subjects were asked whether they would push one person under a train to stop it from killing five people, people were less willing to agree on a sacrifice if the question was asked in their native tongue, Science Daily reported.
However, when the dilemma was posed in their second language, respondents were more willing to choose the options of “the greater good” and step over the taboo.
Researchers believe the propensity for more utilitarian choices was due to the ability to separate oneself from the situation emotionally, which was easier to do in a non-native dialect. The level of concern for the common good, surprisingly, didn’t change. Participants were showing similar level of care for the common good in both cases.
Worldwide research shows that speaking in a foreign language naturally slows people down, because of the need to concentrate in order to comprehend. The more deliberate frame of mind allows to separate emotion from understanding utilitarian benefits. The process of disassociation allows people to think more rationally.
For Boaz Keysar, one of psychologists who conducted the experiments, English is his second language. His native Hebrew was intuitively connected to the emotions and feelings, which as he felt didn’t happen in case of English.
- Native tongue is learned in a family, filled with emotions.
- Second languages are usually learned in classrooms, which are more distant and formal.
So, if you wish to make something more emotional, say it in the woman’s native tongue. Google Translate with audio allows you to make it happen fairly easily: Enter the phrase and click on the button to listen to the translation and its correct pronunciation. Then simply learn the phrase and repeat it to your sweetheart.
But if you want to help your Slavic girlfriend to think things through logically, then speaking in English will work better.