Cultural frame switching and cognitive performance

by Walsh, Miriam, Ed.S., CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FRESNO, 2011, 104 pages; 3458356


Individuals who integrate two cultures into their identity often attach cultural meaning systems to a framework that can be elicited by the language, icons, or stereotypes of that culture. Bilingual biculturals, when primed for a framework, may switch compatibly or incompatibly with the cultural frame elicited. When individuals switch against the cultural prime, studies have suggested they may use more cognitive capacity to process the contrasting cultural cues. This study examined the differences in cognitive performance as a result of this cognitive loading to determine whether cognitive assessments of bilingual biculturals in English are valid despite English language fluency. One hundred twelve bilingual biculturals were recruited via convenience sample to investigate whether those who are compatibly cultural frame switching have higher scores on cognitive measures of working memory and processing speed than those who are incompatibly cultural frame switching. Results partially confirmed the predictions. These findings may suggest some differential effects of bicultural integration and cultural priming on processing speed.

AdviserLorin Lachs
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsSocial psychology; Educational psychology; Cognitive psychology
Publication Number3458356

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