Bilingualism enhances reported perspective taking in men, but not in women

Samaneh Tarighat, Andrea Krott

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Abstract

Bilingual speakers have often been found to be superior in taking the perspective of another person. Also, females are commonly found to have enhanced perspective taking (PT) abilities compared with males, with male PT being generally more easily affected by external factors. The present study investigated whether bilingualism improves PT in males more strongly than in females. In total, 108 bilingual and 108 matched monolingual adults, with equal numbers of males and females, filled in the PT subscale of the Interpersonal Reactivity index. While monolinguals showed the typical result of females scoring higher on PT than males, scores of male and female bilinguals did not differ, with both bilingual groups scoring as high as female monolinguals. Thus, bilingualism enhanced self-reported PT only in males, suggesting that male PT can be enhanced through socialization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number679524
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 Tarighat and Krott.

Keywords

  • bilingualism
  • perspective taking
  • gender differences
  • Theory of mind
  • empathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology

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