College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-21-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Pablo Gomez, PhD

Second Advisor

Jessica Choplin, PhD


Keysar et al. (2012) suggested that bilingual speakers might be less loss averse when interacting in their non-native, rather than native, language. Diminished loss aversion would likely protect homebuyers against predatory lending, as loss aversive tendencies often lead to non-normative decision-making. Thus, it is possible that speaking a foreign language can act as a protective factor for bilingual consumers and potential homebuyers. Two experiments investigated this possibility. Experiment 1 utilized the Asian Disease problem (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) in a survey to examine whether bilingual participants would choose different values and comparison words to describe gains and losses depending on whether they were interacting in Spanish, their native language, or English, their non-native language. Based on the results of experiment 1, it was hypothesized in experiment 2 that the present interaction of language and frame might be dependent upon the consideration of certain (larger) numeric values. Experiment 2 therefore utilized increased numeric values in its survey questions to address this possibility. Although no significant interaction was found, the results of experiment 2 provide supplementary evidence for the use of English, the present participants’ foreign language, as a protective factor for bilingual individuals. Considering the number of bilingual consumers in the United States, many of whom are likely to use English when seeking a home loan, mortgage counseling, or financial planning, these findings have critically important implications.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons