Bilingualism, Theory of Mind and Perspective-Taking: The Effect of Early Bilingual Exposure
Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
Volume 5, Issue 6, December 2016, Pages: 143-148
Received: Nov. 14, 2016; Accepted: Dec. 8, 2016; Published: Jan. 10, 2017
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Author
Rebeka Javor, Institute of Psychology, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary
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Abstract
The present study investigates the link between bilingualism, Theory of Mind and empathy among 240 mono- and bilinguals. We hypothesize that bilinguals have better theory of mind capabilities and empathic skills. Possible explanations for this evidence of a bilingual advantage are the early exposure to a second language and/or greater inhibitory control. 240 individuals, divided into two groups, participated in this study: Hungarian-Serbian bilinguals and Hungarian monolinguals. They filled out two questionnaires, one for the language profiles and Davis’s Interpersonal Reactivity Index; and they participated in the Adult Theory of Mind test. Our hypotheses have been proven to be true. Bilinguals really have better empathic skills and the stories in the Theory of Mind test showed the difference in favor of the bilinguals, so we can assume a correlation between bilingualism, theory of mind and empathy, it is a trend and it is important for further upcoming bilingual researches.
Keywords
Bilingualism, Theory of Mind, Perspective-Taking, Empathy, Early Bilingual Exposure
To cite this article
Rebeka Javor, Bilingualism, Theory of Mind and Perspective-Taking: The Effect of Early Bilingual Exposure, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. Vol. 5, No. 6, 2016, pp. 143-148. doi: 10.11648/j.pbs.20160506.13
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Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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