Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Cognitive Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 50 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Jeanette Altarriba

Committee Members

Dina El-Dakhs


Bilingualism, Decision-Making, Foreign Language Effect, Judgment, Language-Switching, Language and culture, Interference (Linguistics), Decision making, Ethical problems

Subject Categories

Cognitive Psychology


AbstractA foreign language effect (FLE) occurs when the language a problem is presented in influences its outcome (Keysar et al., 2012). So far, it has been unclear under which conditions the FLE appears (Driver, 2020; Dylman & Champoux-Larsson, 2020). One hundred and sixty-eight Arabic-English bilinguals from Prince Sultan University were presented with the Trolley Dilemma (a low-conflict, impersonal moral dilemma) and the Footbridge Dilemma (a high-conflict, personal moral dilemma) and responses to these dilemmas were measured on a slider indicating likeliness to take a suggested action. Participants saw Dilemmas either in a gain-frame or a loss-frame condition, and in either Arabic, English, or a Language-Switching condition. Levels of bilingualism, language-switching abilities, and levels of acculturation were recorded. While there was no disappearance of a framing effect, participants’ mean judgments in the Trolley Dilemma were significantly lower than mean judgments in the Footbridge Dilemma in comparison to native language and language-switching conditions, F(2,154) = 3.26, p = .041,〖 η〗_p^2=.041. Levels of bilingualism, language-switching abilities, or levels of acculturation did not explain a significant amount of variance in judgments. These findings provide mixed support for the notion that certain types of language-switching might form a boundary of the FLE.