Self-Generation of Novel Information through Integration of Cross-Language Episodes Open Access

Menkes, Margo W. (2017)

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Adults must integrate and extend upon separate episodes of learning to build a knowledge base. Through the productive process of integration, adults can self-generate novel understandings that go beyond explicitly taught information. Adults who acquire information in multiple languages encounter separate episodes across languages, creating a situation in which episodes share low similarity at the surface level. This low surface similarity of cross-language episodes may make it more difficult to recognize their relatedness, potentially hindering the integration process. The primary question of interest in the present study is whether presenting episodes across languages creates a cost to the self-generation and integration processes. The present research investigates the extent to which bilingual adults can integrate across languages as well as within them, and investigated individual differences that might explain integration performance. Young adults who self-identify as Spanish-English bilinguals were presented with cross-language fact pairs as well as within English and within Spanish fact pairs. Participants were assessed for derivation of new knowledge through integration of separate but related factual episodes. Participants self-generated novel information through integration of separate but related episodes within English and across languages. They also showed self-generation of novel information through integration of within Spanish episodes, although, at a lower success rate than within English. Spanish and English vocabulary levels explained variability in cross-language and within Spanish integration performance. Additionally, it was observed that repeated presentation of the research paradigm facilitated performance. The results provide evidence that the process of self-generation through integration does suffer in adults under more challenging testing conditions; however, presenting facts across languages does not create a significant cost to the integration process.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1 Present Study 7 Hypotheses 8 Method 9 Participants 8 Materials 9 Stimuli 9 Measures 11 Buffer Tasks 11 Procedure 12 Scoring 14

Creation of Language Experience Groups 14

Results 15

Self-Generation through Integration Across Language Conditions 15

Self-Generation through Integration as a Function of Language Condition 16

Individual Differences in Self-Generation Performance 17

Vocabulary 17

Order of Stimuli 18

Discussion 18

Limitations 23

Conclusion 24 References 25 Tables 28

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