Comparison of Social Cognition and Executive Functions (Motivation, Inhibitory Control, and Empathy) in Bilingual and Monolingual Individuals

Document Type : Original Article


1 Azarbaijan, Shahid Madani University

2 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran

3 MA in psychology, psychology Department, Azarbaijani Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran


Bilinguals demonstrate benefits in cognition (involving regulation of mental activity to resolve information) during processing. “Bilingual advance” is attributed to consistent management of two languages. Since bilinguals have a lifelong experience in controlling their two languages, they should have received more practice than monolinguals in processes engaging executive functions. In this study, an investigation was conducted on bilingual and monolingual students in Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, East Azerbaijan province, Iran, in 2018. 100 students were selected using purposive sampling method. It is assumed that balanced bilinguals; those who are equally proficient in two languages experience a host of cognitive advantages rather than monolinguals. In this study, it was attempted to investigate if advantage of bilingualism extends to social cognition and executive function (i.e. motivation, inhibitory control, and empathy). For this purpose, Executive Function Index and Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test were used in bilingual and monolingual individuals. Results showed that bilinguals possess better performance than monolinguals merely in social cognition (t (98) =-4.37, p <0.05) and inhibitory control (F (1, 98) = 10.95, p <0.05) but not in motivation and empathy.


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