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The Open University of Israel

Faculty of Social Sciences


BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

The Impact of Interlingual Interference on Bilingual


Brain: Slowdown in Word Processing in Hebrew as
a Result of Auditory Similarity to Russian

Research Seminar on Visual Imagery Course (10547)

Student Name: Igor Greenblat

Student ID Number: 308896638

Directed By: Dr. Avner Caspi

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

Contents

ABSTRACT ....................................................................................................................................................4

INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................................................................5

Attention ........................................................................................................................................................................ 5

Focused and Divided Attention .................................................................................................................................... 5

Task Automatization, Spatial orientation and Stroop Color-Word Task ................................................................ 6

Stroop Color-Word Test and its linkage to Attention flexibility ............................................................................... 6

Stroop Effect – General Research Review (McLeod, 1991)....................................................................................... 7

Emotional Stroop Effect (ESE) – a dispute regarding the nature of phenomena mechanism. Is ESE actually a
Stroop task? The "Absence of Interference" argument by Daniel Algom (2005).................................................... 8

The Role of Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) in emotional and cognitive processing – a physiological support
to the distinction between the Classic and Emotional Stroop Effects ....................................................................... 9

Bilingual Lexical Organization, Dependency/Interdependency between L1 and L2............................................. 10

Linking Bilinguality and Attention............................................................................................................................ 11

The Bilingual brain - Processing Levels and Cross-Lingual Interference.............................................................. 11

Taboo words as ESE stimuli....................................................................................................................................... 12

Emotional expressiveness of bilinguals in L1 and L2: Processing figurative language by bilinguals .................. 13

Dual Coding as an aggravating factor in Stroop task .............................................................................................. 13

Rationale of the current study.................................................................................................................................... 14

Independent Variables ................................................................................................................................................ 15

Dependent variable ..................................................................................................................................................... 15

Hypotheses ................................................................................................................................................................... 15

METHOD.......................................................................................................................................................17

Participants.................................................................................................................................................................. 17

Procedure ..................................................................................................................................................................... 17

Materials ...................................................................................................................................................................... 18

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

RESULTS .....................................................................................................................................................19

Data Preliminary Analysis.......................................................................................................................................... 19

ANOVA ........................................................................................................................................................................ 19

Descriptive Data .......................................................................................................................................................... 19

DISCUSSION ................................................................................................................................................21

Interpreting Findings.................................................................................................................................................. 21

Revising the Phenomenon of Interlingual Interference ........................................................................................... 21

Drawbacks and Artifacts of the Current Study; Suggestions for the Future Research ........................................ 23

REFERENCES..............................................................................................................................................27

APPENDIXES ...............................................................................................................................................34

Appendix I: Research group classification............................................................................................................... 34

Appendix II: Test stimuli sample (1x1 scaled) .......................................................................................................... 34

Appendix III: Task words list classification to groups............................................................................................. 35

Appendix IV: ANOVA Summary Table ................................................................................................................... 37

Appendix V: Group Means ........................................................................................................................................ 37

Appendix VI: Tukey HSD Test Values...................................................................................................................... 37

Appendix VII: Eta-Squared Data .............................................................................................................................. 37

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

Abstract

The impact of Reverse Interlingual Interference Effect (RI – word processing inhibition that
occurs during translation from L2 to L1) on Russian-Hebrew bilingual's performance in
Emotional Stroop task was examined. The difference in performance between bilinguals and
monolinguals was tested with exactly the same sets of stimuli; when the stimuli was neutral
(no auditory coherency between the word in Hebrew and any word in Russian lexicon) the
difference in time responses was hypothesized to be a result of language "utilization
seniority". Moreover, it was argued, that additionally to standard Stroop interference,
bilingual participants' color naming is inhibited by unaware subliminal activation of semantic
networks in Russian language (whether dominant or not) and to between-language
competition due to auditory alikeness between the Stroop stimuli in Hebrew and words from
Russian lexicon, rather than being an artifact of stimulus selection or experimental design.
The hypotheses of the present study derive from theories and ascertainments in a field of
cognitive psychology, such as Disturbed Feature Model (De Groot, 1992), Dual-Coding
theory (Paivio, 1971), taboo words emotional impact on word processing (Siegrist, 1995),
second language processing interference (Francis, 1999) and others. The findings suggest that
auditory interference rooted in the similarity of the stimuli in L1 with obscene, concrete or
abstract word is significantly incapable of activating alternative stimuli processing route and
thus interfering with the cognitive processes involved in color-naming task. However, the
observation of group means allows a certain level of speculation regarding the revealed
tendencies.

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

Introduction
Attention
The world we live in is full of sensory stimuli. If human brain had to process all the input
entering the central nervous system, it probably would have collapsed under such an
unbearable cognitive burden. Human brain data processing capabilities are much wider than
animal's (Evans et al., 2005), although not infinite. In every given moment the cerebrum
absorbs enormous amounts of data: sunlight, clock ticking, room temperature level and so on;
different signals are processed differently due to various signal features as sharpness and
intensity (Kutas & Federmeier, 1998). It is likely that monotonic serene chirp of a cricket
will not interrupt our sleep thanks to habituation of our auditory system; in contrary a loud
police siren noise will arouse us immediately (Condon & Weinberger, 1991). Is the way we
respond to certain stimulus intentional and the decision to respond or to ignore various
ambient occurrences is always taken consciously? More likely, the responses are extracted by
our brain autonomously, without wasting our precious cognitive resources. Apparently, we
owe our proper functioning to very complicated network of cognitive schemes "wise" enough
to decide which of the concurrent input signals deserve high-level processing above the
others. The cognitive mechanism responsible for input data filtering is Attention. Neisser
(1974) defines it as "The assignation of the mechanisms of analysis to a limited part of the
perceptual field".

Focused and Divided Attention


William James (1890) writes, "…Attention is taking possession by the mind, in clear and
vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of
thought". The quote focuses in on the necessity of humans to take possession of only one
object with their mind despite the several options present. The limited capacity of the human
information processing system requires individuals to select the information they deem most
important to attend to. Usually we focus and divide our limited attention resources according
to the number of tasks we have to perform and the importance of those tasks (Kahneman,
1973; Navon & Gopher, 1979; Wickens, 1984). It is much easier to divide the attention
voluntary between reading and chewing gum than between driving a car and speaking on a
cell phone; in the last case we direct most of the attention resources to the speaking task and
avert the attention from driving, which might cause an accident (Strayer et al., 2003). The

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

"neglected" tasks are sometimes performed automatically, without squandering attention


resources. Automatization of a cognitive task requires experiencing; avoiding the route flags
on the way down might be a routine task for an experienced skier, but not for an amateur.
Attention can be attracted involuntarily, as if a lamp in a dark room suddenly lights up or
voluntary, as if we want to observe "what will happen next", glazing at the traffic light. An
"attention-drawing" stimulus is more salient than others; among those unique attributes are
content subjective significance, such as hearing your own name (the "cocktail party effect",
Cherry, 1953), background/foreground separation (white flower in a green field, Spieth,
1954; Webster, 1954) or emotional distinctiveness (snake in the grass; Anderson, 2005).
Recent cognitive theories (Bunting & Cowans, 2005; Gopher, Greenshpan & Armoni, 1996)
perceive the attention as a flexible resource, allocated accordingly to task requirements; we
are able to focus the attention on relevant stimulus or divide it to various stimuli, if necessary.

Task Automatization, Spatial orientation and Stroop Color-Word Task


When a certain behavior is performed frequently and does not require intentional attention
resources, it becomes automatic or "procedural" (Anderson, 1983). We perform automatic
behaviors quickly, precisely and effortlessly, often involuntary, "it just happens". In order to
explore the modus operandi of procedural behavior, psychological researchers simulate
situations, where intentional and automatic responses conflict, the interference allows them to
examine the latent features of the automatic behavior by testing their influence on observable
behaviors. Such an influence perfectly outlined by Stroop Color-Word Test. In visual
orientation, preattentive processes provide a spatial mapping of physical locations and allow
us to target attention resources and to distinct the target from the background noise (Lamers
& Roelofs, 2007). However, selecting a spatial location does not separate the target and the
distractor in the Stroop task, since the word meaning and the color are spatially integrated or
concentrated in a common part of a spatial field. Therefore, when attending the ink color of a
Stroop-word stimulus, the meaning of a word receives attention resources as well and
"sneaks" into our cognitive system.

Stroop Color-Word Test and its linkage to Attention flexibility


Stroop Effect, a "part of the limited golden fund of psychodiagnostic tools", as Emil Siska
(2002) defines it, firstly presented in an article "Studies of Interference Serial Verbal

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

Reactions", published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology in 1935. The effect is


named after its inventor, John Ridley Stroop, who discovered it working on his PhD thesis in
George Peabody College (today part of Vanderbilt University) and introduced the results to
professional practice. When implementing the classic form of the Stroop color-word test, the
subject is initially required to read words representing names of some basic colors, and
quickly to name the ink color of these words, disregarding the actual meaning of the words.
The phenomenon of interference, characterizing all the existing variations of Stroop test is
caused by the competing phonological route of the graphical representation of the word
(Tanenhaus, Flanihan and Seidenberg, 1980) and the actual color of the ink when the later is
incongruent with the meaning of a word; this process is not intentional and unavoidable. The
conflicting tasks involve focal attention to the critical element of the task which must be
selected in competition with a dominant, semantic (phonologic) element. However, word
naming is not affected by the color of the ink (MacLeod, 1991) due to the prevalence of
phonology over physical characteristics of the stimuli.
In order to perform in Stroop Task, the participant should obtain some flexibility implicating
attention resources; neuroimaging of adults who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder
(ADD), unlike the normal controls show no activation of the Anterior Cingulated area of the
cortex, involved in regulation of cognitive activity (Bush et al., 1998). Instead, they show
greater activity on incompatible trials in the Anterior Insula (Bush et al., 1999). As was
suggested in the study of word association, the Insula represents a more automatic pathway
than the Anterior Cingulate, ADD patients having difficulties to dissipate attention efficiently
and let it be attracted subliminally, instead of targeting intentionally.

Stroop Effect – General Research Review (McLeod, 1991)


In his monumental taxonomy "Half a Century of Research in Stroop Effect, an Integrative
Review", Colin M. MacLeod (1991) covered the history of the attempt to combine the word
and color stimuli in a potentially conflicting situation. Since the original experiment by J. R.
Stroop, the number of published articles on issue exceeded 700, probably the investigators
were appealed by the simplicity and the reliability of the experiment. Various versions of the
task appeared, including the picture-word interference task (Dyer, 1973), auditory task
(Hamers, 1973), sorting and matching task (Tesse & Happ, 1964).

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

Emotional Stroop Effect (ESE) – a dispute regarding the nature of phenomena mechanism. Is
ESE actually a Stroop task? The "Absence of Interference" argument by Daniel Algom
(2005)
It has been shown that emotion is an important element in directing attention in the working
memory processes (Mather et al., 1995). In "Emotional Stroop Paradigm" participants are
asked to name the color of a printed words partly loaded with emotional connotation.
Apparently, naming a color of an unpleasant word such as "grief", "fear" or "death" takes
more time comparatively to neutral words (Williams, Mathews & MacLeod, 1996; Sharma &
McKenna, 2001; Whalen et al., 1998). The "Emotional Stroop Paradigm" is a very popular
tool not solely in the cognitive research area, but in clinical-psychopathological area as well
(investigating eating disorders - Dobson & Dozois, 2001; alcohol dependency – Flannery et
al., 2007; PTSD patients – Emilien et al., 2000; schizophrenia - Henik et al., 2002; and also
Constatntine, McNally & Hornig, 2001; Kindt & Brosschot, 1997; Lavy & van der Hout,
1993; Watts, McKenna, Sharrock & Tresize, 1986). The classic approach to the explanation
of the phenomenon is that additional attention resources required while processing
emotionally negative stimuli since the usual color naming response interferes with the
subliminal processing of the emotional stimuli (Freyd, 1996; Williams, Mathews & McLeod,
1996). However, not all the researchers agree that ESE is an attention (or lack of attention)
phenomenon. A group of psychologists from Tel-Aviv university claims, that emotionally
loaded stimuli is processed slower because of the activation of "general-purpose defense
mechanism" that responds to a threat by "temporarily slowing down or even freezing all the
ongoing activity" (Lev, 2002; Algom, Ben David & Levy, 2003). Since a major slowdown
for emotional words has been found in studies of lexical decision and reading aloud as well,
the researchers reject the claim that ESE caused by cognitive overload or incapability of the
selective attention mechanism; furthermore, Algom even rejects the argument that ESE is a
subcategory of Stroop tests array. He claims that ESE lacks the essential features of a Stroop
task – the Item-Specific Interference and Congruent Conditions. For the color Stroop the
interference can be calculated at the level of the item and not at the level of the whole list, as
it is in the ESE. Moreover, there's no congruent condition in ESE. The semantic conflict (in
the incongruent condition) and agreement (in congruent condition) that forms the basis of the
color Stroop effect is absent from the ESE phenomenon. In this sense, the Emotional Stroop
task is not really a Stroop task at all.

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

A group of University of California researchers (Mackay et al., 2004) reject the classic
"attention-related" perception as well, defining the described inhibition phenomena as an
"Inhibitory mechanism preventing awareness of taboo words" and explaining it by
"enhancement of the explicit memory during encoding".
Klauer (2003) proposes an additional explanation to ESE phenomenon – "Automatic
Vigilance", an unaware evolutional readiness to give more attention to processing of
threatening stimuli. Automatic vigilance occurs when a negatively valence target stimulus (an
image of a COCKROACH) is categorized more accurately when it is preceded by a
threatening prime stimulus (e.g., the word DISEASE) than a neutral prime stimulus
(Hermans, DeHouwer, & Eelen, 2001). Similarly to a reflex, it happens without our
awareness or effort, and runs to completion without conscious monitoring. The effects may
be far-reaching, especially when automatic vigilance impacts on cognitive resources such as
attention and memory. However, the Automatic Vigilance Theory supporters can't explain the
inhibition in ESE when there's no priming condition; ESE researches show extended response
times even when the participant processes the emotional stimuli in the first time, without any
preliminary priming.
All recent hypotheses concentrate on mechanisms that differ from the classic theory: the
evolutionary coping explanation (Algom et al. version), memory phenomena (in Mackay et
al. research) and Automatic Vigilance version (Klauer et al.) considered to be in the focus of
ESE, and not the attention.

The Role of Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) in emotional and cognitive processing – a
physiological support to the distinction between the Classic and Emotional Stroop Effects
The dissociation between the classical Stroop task and ESE was proven empirically in both
lab experiments (Algom, Chajut & Lev, 2004) and clinical experience of abused Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder patients, who's symptoms were dramatically facilitated during ESE
performing and remained almost unaffected during the classical Stroop (Bremner et al.,
2004). Recent theoretical and experimental work (Botvinick at al., 2001; Drevets and Raichle
1998, Bush et al, 2000) has shown that Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) may be divided into
two parts, each half exclusively responsible for different type of mental processing. When
strong emotions are involved in a Stroop test or any other task, the dorsal area of ACC is less
active than at rest, while cognitive conflict tasks, such as the classic Stroop task suppress

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Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

activity in the ventral ACC. fMRI evidence from a variety of tasks indicates that two parts
might be mutually inhibitory – cognitive tasks knocking down the emotional activity in ACC
and vice versa. According to the presented findings, emotional words amplify mental activity
in the emotional "half" of the ACC and depress the processing in the second "half" which
controls the cognitive processing. Research of the emotional Stroop involving both control
(George et al., 1994; Whalen et al., 1998) and clinical (Rauch et al., 1994; Rauch et al., 1996)
population have shown high levels of activation in both ventral and dorsal ACC, when
traditional Stroop studies (Bush et al., 1998; Carter, Mintun & Cohen, 1995) have shown
activities in caudal part of ACC. The described neuropsychological dissociation is leading to
the conclusion that two tasks (the classical Stroop and ESE) are distinct since the anatomical
modules being activated during the tasks are different and even mutually inhibitory.
On the other hand, the notion that emotion and cognition are functionally interdependent is
supported at both the behavioral and neuroanatomical level. When faced with stimuli or
situations that elicit negative affect (ESE, for example), people rely on regulatory processes
mainly involved in attention (Rothbart, Posner & Hershey, 1995). PET and MRI studies have
linked both the traditional and emotional Stroop to a network of neural systems critical for
the expression and self-regulation of emotion (van Honk et al., 2000; West & Alain, 2000).
Those observations do not contradict the previous statement concerning the distinction of the
Classic and the Emotional Stroop tasks, but only emphasize the complexity of the human
mind and the interdependence of its processes.

Bilingual Lexical Organization, Dependency/Interdependency between L1 and L2


Over fifty percents of world population speaks at least two languages. Posing unique
challenges to the human brain, multilingualism requires simultaneous activation of two or
more sets of rules, sometimes very different ones. A bilingual individual, in order to escape
the curse of Babel, has to juggle between two languages performing code switching (a rapid
switching from one language to another, Dehaene, 1999); avoiding the cross-talk apparently
requires operating of sophisticated mechanisms of segregation and coordination (Dehaene,
1999). In one of the physiological researches (Price at al., 1999) scientists used Positron
Emission Tomography techniques (PET) in order to clarify the "modus operandi" of a
bilingual brain. Unsurprisingly, switching between two or more languages and translating
from one language to another requires activation of additional language brain areas

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

additionally to the "classical" ones (such as Broca's Area). Seems, that bilingual brain, at least
among highly proficient bilinguals, addresses the problems of lexical data processing by
operating with a unique plasticity; the pattern of bilingual cerebral activation is different for
each language and some brain regions are activated in one language but not in other (Perani
et al., 1998).
Do bilinguals use two languages independently, alternating between them, or keep both
languages activated simultaneously and process every stimulus in two parallel lexical routes?
This question is investigated widely in psychocognitive research, the interaction of lexical
processing between the first (L1) and the second languages (L2) argued to be independent or
interdependent. A traditional language switch hypotheses (Gerard & Scarborough, 1989;
MacNamara & Kushnir, 1971) assume independent selective activation and deactivation of
the languages, while parallel activation theories (Grainger & Dijkstra, 1992; Chen & Ho,
1986; Cummins, 2000) challenge the traditional ones, claiming that robust competition exist
between and within language effects in both languages.

Linking Bilinguality and Attention


As one item is selected to be attended to, the individual must inhibit the competing items.
Inhibition is therefore a critical feature of attentional control. Both deal with the concept that
many tasks require fixed attention to certain aspects of the problem while ignoring the other.
Inhibition is used daily, for example, when choosing groceries in the supermarket. A variety
of milk cartons are available and one must inhibit the motor act of ignoring the undesired
cartons on the shelf so that the chosen carton can be simply picked. Bilinguals are constantly
required to use this skill when speaking and listening to one language and ignoring the other.

The Bilingual brain - Processing Levels and Cross-Lingual Interference


How do speakers of more than one language represent and process the words in each
language? Kroll and Stewart (1994) claim that word forms associated with the dominant and
non-dominant languages are "located" in two independent "word banks", the Revised
Hierarchical Model (RHM) proposes distinct lexical word form representations in each
language, but a common conceptual system. A similar "Bilingual Production" model
presented by international group of researchers (Costa, Colome & Caramazza, 2000; Illes et
al., 1999) claims that a common single semantic representation level for both L1 and L2 co-

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The Open University of Israel
Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

exists in parallel with distinct lexical representations for each language. Some studies have
reported evidence suggesting that both alternatives are possible (Champagnol, 1975; Dyer,
1971; Durgunoglu & Roediger III, 1987; Kolers, 1963; Preston & Lambert, 1969), implying
that the issue of single versus dual memory storage in bilinguals may be a matter of
interpretation.
How do two distinct lexicons co-exist and interact in bilingual brain? La Heij et al. (1996)
claim, that the semantic context has a more powerful effect on the processing in the backward
direction than in the forward direction (L2-L1 versus L1-L2 translation). Ambiguous words
or words with multiple translations are processed differently and more slowly comparatively
to concrete words. De Groot (1992) explains in Disturbed Feature Model that concrete words
share the same representational distribution across languages, they are more likely to overlap
in meaning and therefore being translated more quickly. In this model, semantic concepts are
not represented by single nodes, but by a bundle of feature nodes. Each word activates a
pattern of features in both languages. Most of the researchers share the agreement that
processing within the language always interferes with the processing between the languages.
When a bilingual participant tries to name the color of the word in L2, the Stroop interference
(top-down processes superiority) causes a subliminal processing of the word, even though the
later is not required and slowing down the response time (Francis, 1999).

Taboo words as ESE stimuli


Since obscene words are taboo in the modern society, they appear as "emotionally loaded"
stimuli and therefore fit the definition of the Emotional Stroop task stimuli. Word forms can
directly activate emotions: when people name the color of randomly intermixed taboo and
neutral words, color naming times are longer for taboo than for neutral words (Siegrist,
1995); this suggestion presents a theoretical base for the hypothesis of the current research.
For monolingual speakers, recall and recognition tests are influenced similarly by
emotionality, with emotion words showing an advantage compared to neutral words (Rubin
& Friendly, 1986). Jay (2000) defines obscene words as "super emotion" in terms of the
diversity and strength of associated contexts and emotions. When scientists measured the
electrodermal activity (EDA) of participants exposed to swear and neutral words (Bowels &
Pleydell-Pearce, 2004), autonomic response to swear words was indubitably longer than to
neutral stimuli. Taboo words activate the amygdala (LaBar & Phelps, 1998), known to be a

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Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
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key subcortical structure for threat-detection. MacKay et al. (2002) argued that the superiority
of recall for taboo words occurs because emotional reactions during encoding facilitate
binding of the taboo word to its context.

Emotional expressiveness of bilinguals in L1 and L2: Processing figurative language by


bilinguals
Diverse studies support the idea that the first language is bilingual's choice for expressing
emotions (Javier, Barroso & Munos, 2003; Sechrst, Flores & Arellano, 1968; Anooshian &
Hertel, 1994; Bloom & Beckwith, 1989). If the first language is linked to emotional
expressiveness, the second language may be the language of emotional indifference: people
discuss taboo issues (Bong & Lai, 1986), tend to reveal more secrets (Gonzales & Reigosa,
1976) and report less anxiety to obscene and taboo words (Gonzales & Reigosa, 1976) in L2.
There are few studies focusing on the figurative aspect of language comprehension and
production (Francis, 1996; Souto Silva, 2000), but even fewer studies covered the obscene
language aspects. However, an existing wide research base of the emotional aspect of
bilingual cognition allows us to predict certain response patterns of bilingual participants to
taboo (obscene) stimuli in L1 or auditory similar stimuli in L2 which activates the obscene
network in L1. I hypothesize, that neutral word in L2 auditory similar to obscene language
stimuli (swear is a part of a figurative language) in L1 will interfere the usual processing of
the word in L2 among bilinguals. Actually, any auditory similarity between the target word in
L2 and any word in L1 should interfere the usual processing in L2 as was hypothesized
before, but additionally to the auditory similarity the obscene word as a taboo-emotionally-
loaded stimuli might cause an additional inhibition in mental processing.

Dual Coding as an aggravating factor in Stroop task


Cognition according to Dual-Coding Theory (DCT, proposed by Allan Paivio in 1971 and
developed in 1986) involves the activity of two different subsystems; a verbal system
specialized for dealing with language and imagery system, dedicated to pictorial processing.
Both systems are involved in language processing and the interplay between them depends on
the developmental level and on the nature of the stimuli – difficult to image abstract words
will be processed mainly verbally and concrete words both verbally and visually. A concrete
word that can be imagined as a pictorial representation of its semantic meaning is easier to

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Faculty of Social Sciences
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2007–12–30
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process; the coding into Long Term Memory is performed on the double basis - verbal and
visual. Memory footprints of concrete words are therefore stronger comparatively to abstract
words, the coding and the decoding (recollection) of the word is faster and easier. The
expected additive memory benefit of dual code has been confirmed in numerous experiments
(Paivio, 1975; Paivio & Lambert, 1981).
In 1986 Paivio presented the Bilingual Dual-Coding Theory (BDCT). The BDCT proposes an
architecture in which a common imagery system is connected to two verbal systems which
are linked to each other via associative connections. The interconnection between the three
systems explains the interdependent functional behavior. Keeping in mind the reinforced
coding of the "imaginable" word, I hypothesize that Bilinguals will process Stroop Task
words in L2 (Hebrew) auditory similar to concrete words in L1 (Russian) longer than the
abstract words, the color naming response will be inhibited because of the subliminal
processing of the pictorial representation (an image) additionally to concept processing of the
printed word. For example, a word "soroka" ("crow" in Russian), according to Dual-Coding
Theory, will activate both pictorial and verbal networks while processing the auditory similar
Hebrew word "sruka" (the Hebrew alphabet allows both words' similar typing), participant's
imagination will draw a picture of a craw, additionally to the verbal stimuli. However,
processing the Hebrew word "ot" ("from" in Russian) will activate the verbal network of the
coherent word solely, since abstract words are impossible to visualize. Words in Hebrew with
an auditory similarity to concrete words in Russian will not have any effect on Monolingual
Hebrew speakers since no semantic networks will be activated.

Rationale of the current study


Bilinguals seem always to activate L1 while processing words, but the results about whether
bilinguals activate L2 when they are attending to L1 are conflicting (Marian, Spivey, &
Hirsch, 2003; Xue et al., 2004). In order to cause bilinguals parallel activation of both
languages while processing a stimuli word in Stroop color task, the presented words should
be unique (attention-drawing, based on Cocktail party effect, Cherry, 1953). Three "unique"
auditory connections of the presented stimuli were chosen for the current work; it was either
concrete, obscene (taboo) or abstract.
Each of sixty participants, partly Israeli-born without any knowledge in Russian language,
partly bilingual immigrants whose primary language (L1) is Russian and secondary (L2)

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Faculty of Social Sciences
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2007–12–30
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Hebrew or vice versa (L1- Hebrew and L2-Russian) was asked to name as quickly and
precisely as possible the color of printed words in Hebrew presented on the screen of
notebook computer. The response times were recorded using Direct RT software and
processed. Hebrew words selected for the task were classified into four groups: neutral (no
particular auditory linkage to any word in Russian), auditory coherent to abstract, concrete
and obscene words in Russian. None of the auditory Hebrew-Russian similar word categories
was predicted to affect the response times of monolingual participants above the average
response time for a neutral stimuli.

Independent Variables
Group type – three values were defined for this variable: Monolingual, Bilingual (speaking
both Hebrew and Russian) with Hebrew as a dominant language and Russian-dominant
Bilingual.

Stroop Stimuli type or Reverse Interference type – there were four conditions: the neutral
condition – no auditory overlap between the Hebrew stimuli and any word in Russian, an
auditory coherence with a abstract word (Top-Down Interference only), an auditory
coherence with a concrete word (Top-Down Interference + Dual Coding impact) and an
auditory coherence with a obscene word (Top-Down Interference + Emotional taboo-related
effect) in Russian.

Dependent variable
Response Time – since it is usually impossible to monitor cognitive processes directly, a
collateral way of dependent variable monitoring – the "footprints inquiry" will be utilized.
Using response times measurement as an indicator to the complexity of a cognitive process is
a usual technique in the field of cognitive psychology. It's more than reasonable to assume,
that longer response time represents more complex mental process.

Hypotheses
The current research consists of 3x4 array; three groups (one control group of monolinguals
and two test groups comprised of bilinguals with Hebrew or Russian as dominant language)
participated in an experiment, while three lexical interference conditions were applied (no

15
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Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
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interference means that the Hebrew stimuli is neutral, that is to say that it's not auditory
coherent with any word in Russian, abstract, concrete, or obscene stimuli). For the
monolingual group the response times (color naming times) are not expected to vary
accordingly to auditory similarity of any kind between task words in Hebrew (their native
language. It was hypothesized, that the performance of both test groups will be influenced by
interference caused by auditory coherence of the processed word in Hebrew to abstract,
concrete or obscene word in Russian language. Since the coherency to concrete words
supposedly is influenced by Dual Coding and the color naming is inhibited by Reverse
Interference, both semantically and visually, the color naming slowdown in this case is
hypothesized to be stronger (longer response times) relatively to abstract words condition. It
was also expected, that moderate slowdown among Hebrew-Dominant Bilinguals in all the
experimental conditions comparatively to Russian-Dominant Bilinguals will occur; they lack
the theoretical-semantic aspects of language acquisition and the knowledge of obscene
lexicon. It is logical to assume that Russian-dominant bilingual subjects were quite
comfortable speaking Hebrew for most of the day, and going home and conversing with their
parents, grandparents, and siblings in Russian. However, their results are predicted to be
slower than Monolinguals' since their knowledge of Russian language is beyond zero.

16
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Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

Method
Participants
The sample was comprised of sixty adult male and female participants (ages ranged from 22
to 46, with mean of 27.8 and SD of 7.6) drawn from heterogenic population – peers
(university students and friends) and colleagues. The bilingual participants were children of
immigrants from the former Soviet Union, either Israeli-born or born in USSR, all of them
acquired their Hebrew skills while being in Israel; fluent in Hebrew and at least at the basic
level in Russian (based upon self-report). The initial identification for Hebrew-dominant
bilinguals was "Russian-speakers born in Israel", however due to inability to spotter the
relevant population the criterion was "softened" : the participants who immigrated to Israel
before the age of six or reported "Poor" Russian level were classified as "Bilinguals with
Hebrew as a dominant language"; those who immigrated after the age of six and reported at
least a "Reasonable" proficiency level were classified as "Bilinguals with Russian as a
dominant language". Israeli-born participants were classified as "Monolinguals", unless
identified their Russian speaking proficiency level as "Reasonable" (two participants).
The control group was comprised of Israeli-born participants, fluent in Hebrew and
completely non-proficient in Russian.

Procedure
All the participants were asked (in Hebrew) if they wish to participate in an anonymous
research voluntary, those who agreed provided the following information:
1. Number of years speaking Russian solely before obtaining any knowledge in Hebrew
(if applicable).
2. Age when immigrated to Israel (if applicable).
3. Speaking proficiency level in Russian: Poor, Reasonable or Good (if applicable).

Upon completion of the questionnaire the participants were tested using the Emotional Stroop
Task. Subjects were tested individually in similar conditions, during their leisure time (no
pressure of any kind was observed). The participants were instructed to ignore the meaning of
the words and to respond as quickly and precisely as possible to the color of the presented
stimuli by pressing either the red button located in the left side of notepad keyboard or the
green button located in the right part, in accordance with the color of the presented word. The

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Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
igreenblat@yahoo.com

participants were told that each word would be presented by the software on a black screen
and will be replaced by another word upon pressing one of the buttons. The pattern was held
constant – thirty four words were presented accordingly to pre-set list in a constant order;
words of all categories were mixed (the list is presented in "Appendix III" section). The
participants performed a "pilot" adjustment test comprised of five stimuli words before the
actual task; the results of the pilot test were not processed. Three categories contained what
was hypothesized as "potentially sensitive stimuli" - abstract, concrete or obscene words (the
"sensitive" linkage was auditory, between the target word in Hebrew and words from Russian
lexicon). One category (neutral stimuli) was selected to act as a control condition. Each word
was approximately matched for length and syllables. After completion of the task the
participants were debriefed.
The response times to all the stimuli were monitored, filed and processed. It was assumed,
that bilingual participants are familiar with the obscene Russian slang and monolinguals are
not; the assumption was verified after the completion of the test. Results of participants who
did not meet the criteria (there were six of them) were disqualified.

Materials
The test stimuli were generated using Direct RT software, the program allows response time
calculation as well. Direct RT software is designed by Empirisoft Company (the shareware
version limited to three weeks is downloadable from internet site www.empirisoft.com.)
Stimuli were presented on 14" notepad PC monitor in Times New Roman font, with letter
size of 140. The colors were easily extinguished (saturated Green and Red).

18
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Faculty of Social Sciences
BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
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Results
Data Preliminary Analysis
Due to extraordinary length (more or less than two syllables), in order to sustain the
equability of the stimuli, four words were eliminated from the initial list. Wrong responses
(1.44% of overall quantity) and answers of extraordinarily long or short response times
(Mean +/- 2 Standard Deviations) were excluded from the final list as well, 343 out of overall
1800 responses were not included in the final list (19.06%). It is important to note, that 188
out of 420 responses to abstract stimuli were eliminated; the validity of "abstract stimuli-
related" results therefore is questionable.

ANOVA
A 4x3 factorial ANOVA showed a significant main effect of participant's group type on the
response time , F (2,228) =3.19, p < .05, although no significant main effect of Stimuli type
F (3,228) =0.295, p > .05. The interaction between variables was not significant,
F (6,228) =0.24, p > .05. The relevant statistical data is presented in "Appendix IV– ANOVA
Table".

Descriptive Data

Interference in Word Processing

500
Response Times
(microseconds)

480
Bilinguals L1 Hebrew 460
440
Bilinguals L1 Russian
420
400
Monolinguals
(Hebrew Only) 380
ct

l
o

ra
bo

t
tr a

re

ut
Ta

nc
s

Ne
Ab

Stimuli Type
Co

"Appendix V" presents means for the three groups in the four conditions. The partial
parallelism of the curves (no intersection) is coherent with the failure to reject the null
hypothesis for interaction test between the Group Type and the Stimuli Type.

19
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BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
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Post-hoc analysis
In average, bilinguals responded significantly slower by 8.36% than monolinguals to all
stimuli categories (demonstrating significant main effect of Group Type variable): neutral,
abstract, concrete and taboo. The response times in concrete and taboo conditions differed
significantly (11.05% and 10.53% respectively). In neutral condition the responses of
bilinguals were "delayed" by 5.72% and in abstract condition by 2.47%, both measures
insignificant.
Tukey Post-Hoc test provided no additional insights, while the minimal rejection value for
relevant Dfwithin and k levels (228 and 4 respectively, α=0.05) is 3.63, the maximal Mx vs My
Tukey's HSD test values between the means (drawn from the means table in "Appendix V")
was below 1.5 and therefore none of the differences between the test conditions (stimuli type)
was statistically significant. The HSD values are presented in "Appendix VI".
Chi-Square test revealed that more than 96% of the total variance is attributable to Error,
remaining therefore less than 4% to the main and interaction effects, while the only
significant effect (the group effect) accounts for 2.6% of the variance score only. The
following chart is representing the percentage of each effect's contribution to the total
variance. "Appendix VII" contains the relevant statistical data.

Relative Effect Sizes (Eta Squared)

Group Type,
0.026960214
Stimuli Type,
Group Type 0.003740854
Group - Stimuli
Stimuli Type Interaction ,
0.006176044
Group - Stimuli
Interaction
Error,
Error 0.963122888

20
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BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
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Discussion
Interpreting Findings
Knowing an additional language slows down the response times in Stroop Color Words task
(significant main effect of Group Type variable). However, seems like the inhibition in
processing is not caused by parallel meaning interference. Namely, neither Hebrew-dominant
nor Russian-dominant bilingual participants did not necessarily activate Russian language
lexicon when the stimuli words in Hebrew were auditory similar to concrete, abstract or
obscene words in Russian. Keeping in mind that Russian-dominant bilinguals generally
performed slower than Hebrew-dominant bilinguals and both bilingual groups performed
slower than monolinguals, appears that the difference in language proficiency is the only
meaningful reason for the inhibition (Russian-dominants have probably less experience
utilizing Hebrew than Hebrew-dominants and certainly than Hebrew monolinguals).
No significant main effects of Stimuli type and interaction were observed. However,
combining the perceivable (but not significant) disparities between group means and the
validation of significant main effect of Group Type allows to claim for a certain coherency of
the results with the hypothesized phenomena: time gaps between the responses of
monolingual-bilingual and Hebrew dominant –Russian dominant participant groups were
larger in concrete and taboo than in neutral conditions (the results of the abstract cluster are
questionable due to the multiple exclusion of responses). It can be speculated, that the
explanation of the differences lies in the hypothesized second-language interferences and not
in Hebrew proficiency level solely; we would have expected similar differences in all stimuli
categories if the their only cause was "language utilizing experience".

Revising the Phenomenon of Interlingual Interference


Because the field of bilingualism is still relatively new, studies in the linguistics,
psycholinguistics, language development and neurolinguistics of bilingualism have often
produced conflicting results; the findings of the current work (the absence of main stimuli
type and interaction effects) were analyzed via different prisms, each representing a distinct
perception of the issue.
According to Dual-Coding Theory (Paivio & Desrochers, 1980; Paivio & Lambert, 1981), the
imagery system and the two verbal systems corresponding to each language of the bilingual
are independent although partly interconnected. The independency explains the ability of

21
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2007–12–30
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bilinguals to encode, store and retrieve non-verbal objects (images) without any interventions
from either of the verbal systems. Seems, that stimuli type effect didn't appear because the
participants of the current research treated the presented stimuli as images, which allowed
them to avoid the activation of verbal networks upon the recognition of the color. In order to
verify the hypothesis, an alternative (auditory) form of stimuli representation might be used.
Grosjean (1999) claims, that the core issue in bilinguals' communication is the language
mode his mind is set-up. Language mode is "the state of activation of the bilingual’s
languages and language processing mechanisms at a given point in time" and it depends on
the environmental context; among bilinguals the preferred activation language of a
monolingual will be L1, while among his L2 monolinguals the focus will be on L2. Since the
test was presented in Hebrew, including the performance instructions and the language of the
application, the participants "switched" their brains to "Hebrew mode" priory to the
performance of the task and therefore did not recognize the auditory hints as Russian words.
In order to verify the assumption, an additional research with test instructions in L1 for
bilingual participants is required.
If the two languages of a bilingual share the same script, a visually presented stimulus from
either language has been found to activate words from both languages. Clear evidence of that
can be found in a research on the non-selective nature of lexical access (Altenberg and
Cairns, 1983; Dijkstra, Van Jaarsveld, & Ten Brinke, 1998; Nas, 1983). In this case, when
there is a language switch, bilinguals do not have to deactivate one lexicon and activate the
other because both lexicons are simultaneously active. In the current research, the languages
distinct orthographically and the activation of another (Russian) script is not automatic; it
might require an additional processing time. However, once the appropriate lexicon has been
activated, no extra time should be required during the verification process because the only
set of lexical representations available for examination belongs to the target language
(Kirsner et al., 1984) and therefore semantic networks in Russian remain "activated" and the
response to the color doesn’t involve additional cognitive processing of the word in a parallel
language. Since no significant time differences observed between monolinguals and
bilinguals as a response to the first word (the word "krova" was expected to be easily auditory
recognizable as a concrete word in Russian "korova" – "a cow" causing bilinguals to "switch"
the language mode from Hebrew to Russian) – apparently no "switching procedure" was

22
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BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
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performed by Russian-speakers. Namely, they didn't notice the secondary meaning of the
presented stimuli at all, which explains the absence of the stimuli type main effect.
Recent work on the emotional Stroop paradigm (McKenna & Sharma 2004) has provided
evidence that using negatively valenced emotional words instead of color words has a
slowing effect primarily on the subsequent trial. The results of the current research did not
demonstrate a significant emotional Stroop-related slowdown since the stimuli did not
activate the relevant verbal networks in the minds of bilingual participants. The ESE
slowdown, whether it is based on attention deficit or on threatening effect (Algom, 2002) was
not observed because it was not initiated; the existence of the effect therefore remains
unclear. The current research clearly has the drawback of the way the stimuli is presented; it
fails to penetrate the automaticity of the human brain.
The significant main effect of Group Type was predicted to occur due to the phenomenon of
"Reverse" or "Inverse" translation (Brysbaert & Duyck, 2004). Bilingual participants
translate the presented stimuli from Hebrew to Russian in order to process it; therefore their
response times are slower. It is probable that the same reason of the Group Type effect
existence is "guilty" for the absence of the Stimuli Type effect: while being occupied with
reverse translation, bilinguals fail to recognize the auditory alikeness of the stimuli with
words in Russian.

Drawbacks and Artifacts of the Current Study; Suggestions for the Future Research
The phonological complexity of a word of stimuli words, if not controlled, might be an
artifact and can severely damage the reliability of the research; therefore the "word-structure"
parameter was added to the word list to cope with the problem and some of the initially
prepared words were removed from the final list. Some researchers investigated the "word-
length effect" (Baddeley et al., 1975; Schweickert & Boruff, 1986) and found, that sequences
with shorter durations were remembered better than sequences with longer durations. Longer
words probably will require longer procession times; therefore we should expect extended
response times when the stimulus is longer. In the present study equal was the only way to
control the stimuli equality, however equalizing the amount of syllables does not always even
the length of the words.
The second possible "underwater rock" that might affect the reliability of the research is the
personal language ability of the participants or, in other words, the internal variance within
the test groups or the level of "bilingual balance" (Brysbaert & Duyck, 2004). A group of

23
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2007–12–30
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Panteton University researchers (Archonti, Protopapas & Skaloumbakas, 2006) suggest, that
greater Stroop interference was observed in children diagnosed with reading disability
(dyslexia) than in unimpaired children, moreover, poorer reading skills were found to
correlate with greater Stroop interference in the general school population. The distribution of
monolingual population to test groups was not sensitive enough to the personal language
abilities, although the participants' questionnaire, including a question according his fluency
(based on self-report) in Russian might provide some valuable knowledge. The degree of
balance or fluency in bilinguals is always a delicate matter. Some researchers have concluded
that being equally proficient in both one’s languages is more of a cognitive ideal than reality
(Hakuta, Ferdman, & Diaz, 1987). Since there is no widely accepted method of assessing
bilingual proficiency, self reports are quite common in bilingual research. In the present
experiment, self reports were also used, by means of a language questionnaire that was given
to subjects.
The cases where a second language is acquired late, but comes to be the dominant language
were not inquired, this can happen when one immigrates and marries a native speaker of the
L2, and raises children whose dominant language is the L2 (Pavlenko, 2004). It also would be
interesting to test the words that the bilingual participants remembered, Corkin & Kensinger
(2003) claimed, that emotional words are more vividly remembered than the neutral, perhaps
the automatic responses prevented immediate activation of the parallel language, but were
remembered after all (McKay et al, 2004, Siegrist, 1995), although tacitly presented.
Bilinguality is influenced by many variables, such as socioeconomic status, cognitive
development (skills), personality, sociolinguistic proficiency and motivation (Romaine,
1995). None of these variables were measured in the current research. The motivation factor
is particularly important; bilinguals "switch" languages depending on social situation. A
bilingual friend, a manager in a high-tech company has told me that he doesn't speak Russian
with his Russian-speaking engineers because they simply ignore his instructions, probably
feeling that speaking the same "second" language equalizes people even in a manager-worker
conditions. While some of the Russian-speaking Israelis make efforts towards a full
integration into the Israeli society, denying any Russian roots, other separate themselves from
the Israeli culture, feeling more Russian than Israeli. The tendency towards
integration/separation should be controlled.

24
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BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
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It was predicted that between-language competition would be observed from Russian to


Hebrew. But is the interference process symmetrical across languages? Combining a list of
stimuli in Russian with auditory coherency to Hebrew words was considered initially but
eventually turned out to be too complicated; a satisfactory amount of such corresponding
words was not found. An additional problem was locating a control group – Russian speakers
with no proficiency in Hebrew. A "reversed" experiment is required in order to conclude
about the bidirectionality of the measured effect.
The word convergence (hyperonym) problem is another possible obstacle. The meaning of a
word consists of a list of conceptual features, comparable to what one finds in a dictionary
(Levelt, 1989; Roelof, 1992, 1996). For example, the Russian word SLIL (слил) may be
represented by two conceptual features PEED or FLUSHED. If the Russian-speaking
participant wants to express a message containing the concept of the mentioned word, it is
unclear which of the conceptual features PEED or FLUSHED will be activated. The problem
is acute since the classification of the stimuli, either obscene (body excretions considered
obscene) or neutral depends on the participant's interpretation of the word, performed upon
the presentation of the Hebrew stimuli with the same sound (‫ )סליל‬meaning COIL. In many
cases the underlying conceptual representation of the word is so rich and complex that it can
only be expressed by using that particular word.
The relative frequency of the stimuli in both languages was not controlled. Some of the words
might be obsolete or unfamiliar to majority of Russian-speaking audience. A careful study in
which word frequency is an independent variable may prove insightful.
The gender data of the participants was not collected. Although, there is a possibility that the
gender has its effect on the responses in Emotional Stroop task, as Thomson & Platek (2007)
demonstrated, males are probably more affected by sexual jealousy priming while performed
jealousy-based Stroop task and therefore might experience higher emotional interference as a
auditory coherency of L1 stimuli to sexual-jealousy related obscene words in L2.
The co-existence of multiple languages in one brain suggests that sophisticated mechanisms
of segregation and coordination must exist in order to prevent the cross-talk between the
languages (Dehaene, 1999). By improving the comprehension of bilingual processing of
"double-lingual" stimuli, researchers might contribute to practical knowledge of brain
plasticity and critical learning processes.

25
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BA Psychology Program Ψ
2007–12–30
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Is one's conceptual system is changing upon learning another languages? Namely, are
Russian-Hebrew bilinguals more "Russian" or more "Hebrew"? Wolff & Ventura (2003)
claim that Russian-English bilinguals who had learned English patterned in their condition
conceptualizing as English monolinguals, even though they did the experimental task in
Russian. Seems, like learning a second language has its consequences for the underlying
conceptual system, it can change the way one views the world.

26
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Appendixes

Appendix I: Research group classification


Control group M – Monolinguals (Israeli aborigines); test group BR – Bilinguals with
Russian as a dominant language; test group BH –Bilinguals, Hebrew dominant).

:‫אנא הגדיר\הגדירי את רמת שליטתך ברוסית‬.1


‫) לא שולט כלל‬
‫) שולט ברמה בסיסית‬
‫) שולט ברמה בינונית‬
‫) שולט ברמה גבוהה‬
(‫ אנא ציינו את הגיל בו עלית לארץ )אם אינך יליד הארץ‬.2
?(‫ במשך כמה שנים דיברת רוסית כשפה יחידה )אם רלוונטי לגביך‬.3

Appendix II: Test stimuli sample (1x1 scaled)

34
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igreenblat@yahoo.com

Appendix III: Task words list classification to groups

Stroop English Coherent Coherent Coherent Word Word


word Transcript word word word Length in Length in
[Hebrew] ion [Russian] meaning Type syllables syllables
[Hebrew] [Russian]
‫פסלון‬ Pis-Lon Slon Elephant Concrete 2 1
‫דגלון‬ Dig-Lon None None Neutral 2 NA
‫פסגה‬ Pis-Ga Pizda Cunt Taboo (3) 2 2
‫קרוב‬ Ka-Rov Korova* Cow Concrete 2 3
‫מודאג‬ Mu-Dag Mudak Looser** Taboo (2) 2 2
‫לבד‬ Le-Vad Lebed Swan Concrete 2 2
‫דומה‬ Do-Me Dooma*** Thought Abstract 2 2
‫אבל‬ A-Val Oval**** Oval Concrete 2 2
‫דחוי‬ Da-Chooy Hooy Dick Taboo (3) 2 1
‫סליל‬ Sleel Slil Peed Taboo (1) 1 1
‫בלעדי‬ Bil-Adi Bliadi Whores Taboo (3) 2 2
‫צל‬ Tzel Tzel Target Abstract* 1 1
****
‫חרוש‬ Kha-Rush Horosh*** Good Abstract 2 2
***
‫סרוק‬ Sa-Ruk Soroka*** Crow Concrete 2 3
****
‫בלבד‬ Bil-Vad Blevat To Puke Taboo (1) 2 2
‫סוכה‬ Su-Ka Suka Bitch Taboo (2) 2 2
‫רק‬ Rak Rak Cancer Concrete* 1 1
*******
‫ילדה‬ Yal-Da Elda Dick Taboo (2) 2 2
********
*
‫דו"ח‬ Doo-Ach Dooch Spirit Abstract 2 1
‫****זימה‬ Zee-Ma Zima Winter Abstract 2 2
******
‫סם‬ Sum Sam Alone Abstract 1 1
‫גרה‬ Ga-Ra Gora***** Mount Concrete 2 2
*******

35
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‫תפור‬ Ta-fur Topor**** Axe Concrete 2 2


*********
‫אות‬ Ot Ot From Abstract 1 1
‫נגע‬ Naga Noga**** Foot Concrete 2 2
*********
*
‫לוח‬ Lu-Ah None None Neutral 2 NA
‫תורם‬ To-Rem None None Neutral 2 NA
‫הולך‬ Ho-Leh None None Neutral 2 NA
‫כרית‬ Ka-Rit None None Neutral 2 NA
‫דייג‬ Da-Yag None None Neutral 2 NA
‫אגס‬ A-Gas None None Neutral 2 NA
‫קשה‬ Ka-Sha Kasha Porridge Concrete 2 2
‫מורה‬ Mo-Ra Mura Nonsense Concrete 2 2

* Pronounced as "Ka-ro-va in Russian


** Has an obscene meaning in Russian
**** Pronounced as "A-Val" in Russian
***** Has two meanings in Russian – concrete and abstract (same as
in English)
****** Pronounced as "Kha-Rosh" in Russian
******* Pronounced as "Sa-Ro-Ka" in Russian
******** Has an additional meaning of a lethal illness (same as in
English) and therefore might be seen as a threatening stimuli
********* Rarely used in English
********** Has a taboo meaning (Pornography related) in Hebrew
************ Pronounced as "Ga-Ra" in Russian
************* Pronounced as "Ta-Por" in Russian
************** Pronounced as "Na-Ga" in Russian

- The blue silhouette around the number of syllables highlights equal word length of
coherent words in Russian and Hebrew; in those cases the experiment results are
more reliable.

36
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Appendix IV: ANOVA Summary Table

F critical
Source SS df MS F (α=0.05)
Main Effect A - Group Type 61394.17 2 30697.09 3.19 3.04
Main Effect B - Stimuli Type 8518.72 3 2839.57 0.295 2.65
Interaction A x B - Group*Stimuli 14064.17 6 2344.03 0.24 2.14
Within Groups - Error 2193236.83 228 9619.46
Total 2277213.9 240

Appendix V: Group Means

Stimuli Type
Group Type (Factor A) (Factor B)
Neutral Concrete Abstract Taboo
Bilinguals L1 Hebrew 484.96 484.94 465.43 466.56
Bilinguals L1 Russian 482.93 489.4 485.4 484.83
Monolinguals (Hebrew Only) 461.98 440.26 459.73 429.18

Appendix VI: Tukey HSD Test Values

Group
Type/ Bilinguals Hebrew L1 Bilinguals Russian L1 Monolinguals
Stimuli
Type Neutral Concrete Abstract Neutral Concrete Abstract Neutral Concrete Abstract
Concrete 0.001 0.3 0.99
Abstract 0.89 0.89 0.11 0.18 0.1 0.89
Taboo 0.84 0.84 0.05 0.09 0.21 0.03 1.496 0.51 1.39

Appendix VII: Eta-Squared Data

Effect SS Effect SS Total Chi-Squared Value [%]


Group Type 61394.17 2277213.9 0.027
Stimuli Type 8518.72 2277213.9 0.004
Group - Stimuli Interaction 14064.17 2277213.9 0.006
Error 2193236.83 2277213.9 0.96

37