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Über dieses Buch

Working and interacting in foreign languages is widespread. While the relationship between language and behavior has been discussed for many years, empirical evidence for behavioral effects of foreign language use is surprisingly scarce. Stefan Nothelfer has conducted a series of laboratory studies to investigate and disentangle effects of language and culture on creativity and cooperation, important behavioral foundations of innovation. He draws insights from a large cross-country dataset with pairings between three languages, using a custom-built mobile laboratory. The author’s findings challenge theories of linguistic relativity, foreign language effects, and cultural accommodation, and enrich the empirical basis for fundamental research on language and behavior.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction and Overview

Abstract
Working and interacting in foreign languages is widespread. While the relationship between language and behavior has been discussed for many years, empirical evidence for behavioral effects of foreign language use is surprisingly scarce. This work disentangles possible effects of foreign language use and culture and contributes to the experimental evidence of language-related effects. Findings from an international series of laboratory studies, conducted to investigate language-related effects on creativity and cooperation, are presented and discussed. Insights are drawn from a cross-country dataset with pairings between three languages.
Stefan Nothelfer

Chapter 2. In Search of Cultural Accommodation, Ethnic Affirmation, and Foreign Language Effects

Abstract
This paper provides an overview of possible effects of language on behavior and searches for empirical evidence for and against linguistic relativity, cultural accommodation, and foreign language effects. Its contribution to research is threefold: First, it advances theory by comparing, merging, and sharpening existing theories, discussing overlaps and differences. Second, it paves the way for future empirical work on the role of language use by deriving possibilities, limitations, and requirements for empirical research, taking into account several possible effects of language. Third, it explores experimental data from three laboratory experiments, searching for convergent patterns that are predicted by the different theories.
Stefan Nothelfer

Chapter 3. Foreign Language Effects on Creativity

Abstract
A large part of the world’s population regularly interacts and works in foreign languages. Yet, we know surprisingly little about potential effects of foreign language use on human behavior. This paper investigates the effects of foreign language use on creativity, a crucial factor for innovation. We conducted an international experimental study with 430 participants in France,Germany, and the U.S. to observe creative performance in a real-effort creativity task. More than 2300 resulting creative products were rated by an international pool of raters to measure creative performance, applying the consensual assessment technique. A between-subjects-design and pairwise comparisons across languages allow us to differentiate between foreign language effects and language-specific effects.
Stefan Nothelfer

Chapter 4. Cooperation in Foreign Languages

Abstract
Human cooperation across different languages and cultures is a cornerstone of our globalized world. The question arises as to whether cross-cultural and cross-linguistic cooperative behavior differ systematically from cooperative behavior within the same language and culture. In this project, we investigate whether and how the use of a foreign language shapes peoples' willingness to cooperate with others. Experimental evidence from an incentivized one-shot continuous prisoner's dilemma in three languages across three countries leads to novel insights regarding language-specific effects and a general foreign language effect on cooperation.
Stefan Nothelfer

Chapter 5. Conclusion and Outlook

Abstract
To what extend does the use of a foreign language affect behavior? While much more research seems necessary to answer this fundamental question to a satisfying degree, this dissertation provides some new pieces to the puzzle. The thesis advances theory about language-induced effects and extends empirical research to the important domains of human cooperation and creativity. With newly generated data from an international series of experiments, it allows for causal inferences and extends the empirical evidence needed for cross-disciplinary studies of language-induced effects on behavior.
Stefan Nothelfer

Backmatter

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