Edinburgh Psychology Keynote Talk

Speaker: Dr Belem Lopez (University of Texas - Austin)

Title: Variability in Bilingual Language Brokering Experiences Affects Decision-Making Strategies

Abstract: Language brokering is a global phenomenon where children and adolescent bilinguals serve as cultural and linguistic intermediaries (i.e., language brokers) for family members. Research reveals language brokering is a multidimensional bilingual experience that incorporates emotional, linguistic, and cognitive information beyond knowledge and use of two languages (López, 2020). Importantly, language brokers are problem solvers and decision makers. Brokers must consider various options when translating for their parents and community members, make decisions as to what the best translation for an utterance is, and help alleviate linguistic barriers by translating for their parents. Decision-making is the ability to select an option over various alternatives while considering the risks and benefits linked to other options (Buelow & Suhr, 2009), and a crucial aspect of decision-making is language Decision-making research has primarily focused on single-language users. The sparse research in bilingualism has examined how making a decision in a foreign language is easier than in first language (Costa et al., 2014; Keysar et al., 2012). However, no research has examined how variability within bilingual experiences may affect decision-making ability. This paper examines how language brokering experiences affect decision-making ability. Results are interpreted as a call for the need to examine how contextualized and individualized bilingual experiences like language brokering may have long-term outcomes on domain general cognition such as decision making.

Further information

For a link to join the talk email Dan Mirman.


Apr 07 2021 -

Edinburgh Psychology Keynote Talk

2021-04-07: Variability in Bilingual Language Brokering Experiences Affects Decision-Making Strategies

Online via link invitation