双语阅读:为什么用外语撒谎更容易?

双语阅读:为什么用外语撒谎更容易?


Most people don't find it more difficult to lie in a foreign language than in their native tongue. However, things are different when telling the truth: This is clearly more difficult for many people in a foreign language than in their native one.?

大多数人没觉得用外语撒谎比用母语撒谎更难,但会发现用外语讲真话比用母语讲真话更难。

This unexpected conclusion is the result of a study conducted by two psychologists from the University of Würzburg: Kristina Suchotzki, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Psychology I, and Matthias Gamer, Professor of Experimental Clinical Psychology.?

这一令人惊讶的结论由维尔茨堡大学的两位心理学家Kristina Suchotzki(心理学系博士后研究员)和Matthias Gamer(临床实验心理学教授)研究得出。

The two scientists now present their insights in Journal of Experimental Psychology.?

这两位科学家在《实验心理学期刊》上发表了他们的洞见。

Their findings could be important for a lot of processes in which the trustworthiness of certain people must be evaluated — for example in asylum procedures.?

他们的研究成果对信誉评估过程(如庇护流程)很重要。

In such situations, reports by non-native speakers tend to be perceived as less believable even though they may be truthful.?

在这种情况下,非母语人士的报告往往被认为不太可信,尽管报告可能是属实的。

Two contradicting theories

彼此矛盾的两种理论

There are two research theories to predict differences between deception and truth telling in a native compared to a second language.?

目前,有两个理论可以预测用母语和外语撒谎与说真话的不同。

Research from cognitive load theory suggests that lying is more difficult in a foreign language.?

基于认知负荷假说的研究表明,用外语撒谎更难。

"Compared to truth telling, lying is a cognitively more demanding task," Kristina Suchotzki explains. Adding a foreign language imposes an additional cognitive challenge which makes lying even more difficult.

“与说真话相比,撒谎需要更多的认知任务,”Kristina Suchotzki解释道。额外的认知挑战会增加用外语撒谎的困难度。

Lying is easier in a foreign language: This should be true according to the emotional distance hypothesis. This assumption is based on the fact that lying is associated with more emotions than staying with the truth. Liars have higher stress levels and are more tense.?

而根据情感距离假说,用外语撒谎比用母语撒谎更容易,因为撒谎与说真话相比,会牵扯更多情绪。说谎者通常压力更大更紧张。

Research from linguistics, psychology and psychophysiology shows that compared to speaking in a native language, communicating in a second language is less emotionally arousing.?

语言学、心理学和心理生理学的研究表明,用外语交流的情绪化程度低于用母语沟通。

"Based on the emotional distance hypothesis, you would hence expect lying in a foreign language to be less arousing emotionally," Suchotzki says. Accordingly, this reduced emotional arousal would facilitate lying.

“根据情感距离假设,用外语撒谎时情绪不会那么激动,” Suchotzki说。 因此,减弱的情绪化会有利于说谎。

Experiments and results

实验与结论

To settle this question, the Würzburg psychologists conducted a number of experiments in which up to 50 test persons had to complete specific tasks.?

为解决这个问题,维尔茨堡大学的心理学家进行了多项实验。实验要求50多名被试者完成特定任务。

They were asked to answer a number of questions — sometimes truthfully and sometimes deceptively both in their native language and in a foreign language. Some questions were neutral such as "Berlin is/is not in Germany"; other questions were clearly emotional like "Have you ever taken illegal drugs?" or "Would you work as a nude model?".

他们被要求用母语和外语撒谎或真实回答一些判断题。一部分是中性问题,例如:“柏林在/不在德国”;还有一部分是情绪性问题,如“你服用过违禁药物吗?” 或“你会做裸体模特吗?”。

While the test participants answered the questions, the scientists measured their response time, skin conductance and heart rate.

当被试者回答问题时,科学家会测量他们的用时、皮肤导电率和心率。

In a nutshell, the results are as follows:

简单来说,实验结果如下:

Usually, it takes longer to answer emotional questions than neutral ones.

通常,回答情绪性问题会比回答中性问题更费时。

Answers in the foreign language also take longer than their native language counterparts.

用外语回答比用母语回答更费时。

Generally, it takes longer to tell a lie than to tell the truth.

普遍而言,撒谎比说真话更费时。

However, the time difference between deceptive and truthful answers are less pronounced in a second language than in the native language.

然而,用外语撒谎和说真话之间的时间差不如母语中那么明显。

The slight difference does not, however, result from giving a faster deceptive response. Rather in a foreign language, telling the truth takes longer than in one's native tongue.

撒谎耗时短并不是导致这种微弱时间差原因,而用外语说真话比母语耗时。

Whether neutral or emotional question: The time differences between telling the truth and lying are generally smaller in a foreign language.

无论是中性问题还是情绪性问题,用外语撒谎与说真话的时间差不明显。

The scientists believe that these findings reflect the "antagonistic effects of emotional distance and cognitive load".?

科学家认为,这些结论反映了“认知负荷和情感距离的抗颉作用”。

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