Hablo inglés y español:Cultural self-schemas as a function of language

Rodríguez-Arauz, Gloriana and Ramírez-Esparza, Nairán and Pérez-Brena, Norma and Boyd, Ryan L. (2017) Hablo inglés y español:Cultural self-schemas as a function of language. Frontiers in Psychology, 8. ISSN 1664-1078

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Research has demonstrated that bilingual individuals experience a "double personality," which allows them to shift their self-schemas when they are primed with different language modes. In this study, we examine whether self-schemas change in Mexican-American (N = 193) bilinguals living in the U.S. when they provide open-ended personality self-descriptions in both English and Spanish. We used the Meaning Extraction Helper (MEH) software to extract the most salient self-schemas that influence individuals' self-defining process. Following a qualitative-inductive approach, words were extracted from the open-ended essays and organized into semantic clusters, which were analyzed qualitatively and named. The results show that as expected, language primed bilinguals to think about different self-schemas. In Spanish, their Mexican self-schemas were more salient; whereas, in English their U.S. American self-schemas were more salient. Similarities of self-schemas across languages were assessed using a quantitative approach. Language differences and similarities in theme definition and implications for self-identity of bilinguals are discussed.

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Journal Article
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Frontiers in Psychology
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22 Jun 2019 09:19
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 02:13