Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Change your language, change your personality?

It appears language may send roots deeper into the brain than we'd thought.

Psychologists have discovered that people take on the characteristics of foreign nationals when they switch into their language... <snip> The personality changes, however, run deeper than a desire to gesticulate wildly when talking in Italian or to plunge into gloom when speaking Russian. According to research, using different languages alters basic characteristics traits such as extroversion and neuroticism.

Of course, the question is, "how much". The research was based on a study of a collection of170,000 personality tests, so I bet the total effect was a tiny fraction of the normal variability.

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