The effect of words emotionality on bilingual’s emotional expressiveness and memory accuracy

Title: Lost in translation: The effect of words emotionality on bilingual’s emotional expressiveness and memory accuracy

The main aim of this study will be to investigate false memory in bilinguals (Portuguese/English) using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm by replicating and modifying a study conducted Knott, Mahmood & Howe (2013). Their research explored the influence of words emotionality in the development of bilingual’s false memory. Urdu-English bilinguals were presented with list o negative words. Knott et al’s. (2013) results showed that false memory was higher for the same language condition than opposite language condition. According to their findings the interpretation of the emotionality of words would be language dependent. However, Knott et al. used only negative list thus lacking a control. Furthermore it can be assumed that there may be substantial cultural differences making emotional word translations difficult. The current study will compare negative and neutral list using a European population in order to expand the research reliability and validity. The current research intends to investigate the lost in translation of words emotionality, therefore the list used will have association with negative feeling (depressed) rather than concrete words that have more of a emotional context (sick, surgery). This study will focus on associating the development of false memory with the loss of emotionality of the words when translated to the participant’s second language. In previous research, it became an important topic to validate eyewitness testimonials, however this is also important in the area of counselling and psychotherapy. As previous research has shown, there might be a loss of emotional association when words are retrieve in the second language (Sue & Sue, 1977). Therefore the misunderstanding of verbal and nonverbal communication may lead to false interpretation of emotions and behaviour. The fact that emotion information may be retrieved differently in the primary and secondary language may impact the accuracy of recall of negative events, which might affect the validity of a bilingual eyewitness interview, which it is also important when patients undergo counselling or therapeutic treatments. Both counsellor and client need to appropriately send and receive verbal message. This becomes a challenge among those that do not share the same language and cultural background (Sue & Sue, 1977; Aycicegi & Harris, 2004). Cultural variation in communication may lead to the wrong interpretation of the facts, the development of false memory and emotional blockage. For that reason, Language differences may act as impediment to counselling and the validity of eyewitness testimonial (Zoellner, Brigidi & Przeworski, 2000). Therefore, the current study aims to evaluate bilingual’s proficiency in their language and their emotional expressiveness.
– Design and methodology of the project
Design
2x (DRM list: Negative words vs. Neutral words) 4x (Encoding & Retrieval Language: English vs. Portuguese, English vs. English, Portuguese vs. English & Portuguese vs. Portuguese) repeated measures

Stimuli
8 negative-emotional and 8 neutral lists were designed with 12 words in each list (Taken from Dewhurst, Anderson, & Knott, 2012). All lists were suitable for translation into Portuguese. Lists will be shown on computer screen, one word at the time. A recognition test will be use, which will consist of all critical lures, filler items and items taken from each list. The recognition sheet will have a total of 64 words.

Project writing Style

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