[PS-1.31] How much do I like myself in a foreign language context?

Ivaz, L. 1 , Costa, A. 2, 3 & Duñabeitia, J. A. 1

1 BCBL, Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, Donostia, Spain
2 ICREA, Institució Catalana de Recerca I Estudis Avançats, Barcelona, Spain
3 CBC, Center for Brain and Cognition, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain

Self-related stimuli enhance performance by boosting memory, speed and accuracy as compared to stimuli unrelated to the self. This gives rise to the robust and highly automatic self-bias effect demonstrated in several recent studies. We aimed to investigate the extent to which this effect depends on the language context, as recent evidence suggests that foreign language contexts impose a relative emotional and psychological distance in bilinguals. We conducted two experiments with Spanish-English bilinguals performing a perceptual matching task where they associated simple geometric shapes (circles, squares and triangles) with the labels "you", "friend" and "other" either in their native or foreign language. The results showed a robust asymmetry in the self-bias: larger self-bias effects were found in the native language than in the foreign language. Our results demonstrate that the foreign language effects are pervasive enough to affect automatic stages of emotional processing. Follow-up experiments qualified these results by exploring the intrinsic relationship between these differential self-bias effects and the emotional resonance of both foreign and contextually-present non-native languages.