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The effects of first- and second-language proficiency on conflict resolution and goal maintenance in bilinguals: Evidence from reaction time distributional analyses in a Stroop task*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 March 2012

CHI-SHING TSE*
Affiliation:
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
JEANETTE ALTARRIBA
Affiliation:
University at Albany, State University of New York
*
Address for correspondence: Chi-Shing Tse, Department of Educational Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, New Territories, Hong Kong, Chinacstse@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

By administering a Stroop task to college-student bilinguals varied in self-rated first- (L1) and second-language (L2) proficiency, the current study examined the effects of L1 and L2 proficiencies on selective attention performance. We conducted ex-Gaussian analyses to capture the modal and positive-tail components of participants' reaction time distributions. Both L1 and L2 proficiencies were associated with a shift of reaction time distributions in incongruent trials, relative to congruent trials, and the tail size of reaction time distributions regardless of trial types. This suggests that bilinguals' L1 and L2 proficiencies could affect their Stroop performance via modulating their conflict resolution and goal maintenance abilities.

Type
Research Notes
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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Footnotes

*

The work described in this paper was substantially supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project no. CUHK455010). We thank David Green and Gigi Luk for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript and Rita German, Jacalynn Romeyn, and Dana Schiffman for their help with data collection.

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