Does Speaking in a Second Language Make You Think More, or Feel Less?

Discover Magazine:

Should homosexuals should be allowed to serve in the military? Let me rephrase that: Should gay men or lesbians be allowed to serve in the military?

You may have detected within yourself a subtle emotional shift between these two questions. For many Americans, according to a 2010 poll by CBS and The New York Times, those subtly different gut reactions actually led to different responses depending on how the question was worded; people were more receptive to having “gay men and lesbians” than “homosexuals” in the military.

The poll reflects one of the weirder aspects of human cognition: that for all of our capacity for rational, analytical thought, we can have different feelings about the same thing—even make different decisions about it—depending on the language used to talk about it. This phenomenon, known as the framing effect, creates some brisk business for marketers and political communications experts.

Read the whole story: Discover Magazine

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