TRAP@NCI

Multilingualism and Executive Function: Evidence from Assessments of Working Memory, Cognitive Flexibility and Selective Attention

Forde-Bates, Molly (2017) Multilingualism and Executive Function: Evidence from Assessments of Working Memory, Cognitive Flexibility and Selective Attention. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Bachelor of Arts)
Download (918kB) | Preview

Abstract

Previous research has shown patterns of executive function to vary among individuals contingent on number of languages spoken. The current study aims to expand on research investigating the complex mechanisms of executive function which underlay language acquisition. Performance of monolingual, bilingual and multilingual speakers on a battery of executive function tasks was investigated. The study defined executive function as working memory, selective attention and cognitive flexibility. A quasi-experimental between-groups design was adopted. Participants who were divided into monolingual (n=13), bilingual (n=11) and multilingual speakers (n=10) were assessed individually in groups of two or three in the National College of Ireland over a four week-period. Outcomes of working memory, selective attention and cognitive flexibility were evaluated using pen-to-paper versions of The Rey Osterreith Complex Figure test, The Stroop Task and The Trail Making Test. Response latencies and accuracy levels predicted performance of all groups in all levels of executive function. A one-way between groups analysis of variance was conducted to explore between-groups differences on executive function. Results found a statistical difference in mean scores of selective attention for multilinguals and bilinguals, with multilinguals preforming faster on the Stroop Test [F (2, 31) = 3.74, p < 0.05]. However, after applying Bonferroni Correction, statistical difference was deemed insignificant. No significant statistical differences were found between groups on levels of working memory or cognitive flexibility. Implications are discussed in relation to multilingualism, as a potential contributor to the delay in the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2017 11:54
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 11:54
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/2778

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item