In three studies we found that reading information in a foreign language can suppress common superstitious beliefs. Participants read scenarios either in their native or a foreign language. In each scenario, participants were asked to imagine performing an action (e.g., submitting a job application) under a superstitious circumstance (e.g., broken mirror; four-leaf clover) and to rate how they would feel. Overall, foreign language prompted less negative feelings towards bad-luck scenarios, less positive feelings towards good-luck scenarios, while it exerted no influence on non-superstitious, control scenarios. We attribute these findings to language-dependent memory. Superstitious beliefs are typically acquired and used in contexts involving the native language. As a result, the native language evokes them more forcefully than a foreign language.

Breaking Magic: Foreign Language Suppresses Superstition / Hadjichristidis, Konstantinos; Geipel, Janet; Surian, Luca. - In: THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1747-0218. - 2019, 72:1(2019), pp. 18-28. [10.1080/17470218.2017.1371780]

Breaking Magic: Foreign Language Suppresses Superstition

Hadjichristidis, Konstantinos;Surian, Luca
2019

Abstract

In three studies we found that reading information in a foreign language can suppress common superstitious beliefs. Participants read scenarios either in their native or a foreign language. In each scenario, participants were asked to imagine performing an action (e.g., submitting a job application) under a superstitious circumstance (e.g., broken mirror; four-leaf clover) and to rate how they would feel. Overall, foreign language prompted less negative feelings towards bad-luck scenarios, less positive feelings towards good-luck scenarios, while it exerted no influence on non-superstitious, control scenarios. We attribute these findings to language-dependent memory. Superstitious beliefs are typically acquired and used in contexts involving the native language. As a result, the native language evokes them more forcefully than a foreign language.
1
Hadjichristidis, Konstantinos; Geipel, Janet; Surian, Luca
Breaking Magic: Foreign Language Suppresses Superstition / Hadjichristidis, Konstantinos; Geipel, Janet; Surian, Luca. - In: THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1747-0218. - 2019, 72:1(2019), pp. 18-28. [10.1080/17470218.2017.1371780]
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Breaking Magic Foreign Language Suppresses Superstition__Online.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Post-print referato (Refereed author’s manuscript)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 642.02 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
642.02 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
17470218.2017.1371780.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (Publisher’s layout)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 228.96 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
228.96 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/192532
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 21
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 18
social impact