Different Languages Express Emotion Differently

Researchers have discovered that bilingual parents' tendency to switch between languages can influence the emotional development of their children. The implications may extend to marriage. 

Different Languages Express Emotion Differently

What's the Latest Development?


In bilingual societies, people frequently switch between languages, particularly in emotional situations. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Bard College say that such code-switching is a strategy to express emotions differently, particularly when communicating with children. "Bilingual parents may use a specific language to express an emotional concept because they feel that language provides a better cultural context for expressing the emotion. For example, a native Finnish speaker may be more likely to use English to tell her children that she loves them because it is uncommon to explicitly express emotions in Finnish."

What's the Big Idea?

Language is closely related to emotional expression because words allow speakers to articulate, conceal, or discuss feelings. Thus the language a parent chooses to express their emotional state, or discuss emotional situations, can influence the emotional development of their child. The findings of recent research "may be particularly useful in the development of intervention programs for immigrant families, helping intervention staff to be aware of how the use of different languages in various contexts can have an emotional impact." Implications of emotion-related code-switching may also be extended to marital interactions. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

A historian identifies the worst year in human history

A Harvard professor's study discovers the worst year to be alive.

The Triumph of Death. 1562.

Credit: Pieter Bruegel the Elder. (Museo del Prado).
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Harvard professor Michael McCormick argues the worst year to be alive was 536 AD.
  • The year was terrible due to cataclysmic eruptions that blocked out the sun and the spread of the plague.
  • 536 ushered in the coldest decade in thousands of years and started a century of economic devastation.
Keep reading Show less

The Einstein-Bohr legacy: can we ever figure out what quantum theory means?

Quantum theory has weird implications. Trying to explain them just makes things weirder.

Credit: dani3315 / 269881579 via Adobe Stock
13-8
  • The weirdness of quantum theory flies in the face of what we experience in our everyday lives.
  • Quantum weirdness quickly created a split in the physics community, each side championed by a giant: Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr.
  • As two recent books espousing opposing views show, the debate still rages on nearly a century afterward. Each "resolution" comes with a high price tag.
Keep reading Show less

Pupil size surprisingly linked to differences in intelligence

Maybe eyes really are windows into the soul — or at least into the brain, as a new study finds.

A woman's eye.

Credit: Adobe stock / Chris Tefme
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a correlation between pupil size and differences in cognitive ability.
  • The larger the pupil, the higher the intelligence.
  • The explanation for why this happens lies within the brain, but more research is needed.
Keep reading Show less
Politics & Current Affairs

We are all conspiracy theorists

In each of our minds, we draw a demarcation line between beliefs that are reasonable and those that are nonsense. Where do you draw your line?

Quantcast