Testing the Bilingual Advantage Hypothesis: An Individual Differences Study on Rates of Mind Wandering
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The bilingual advantage hypothesis proposes that the experience of processing multiple languages affords an individual with mental resources that can extend beyond the domain of language, namely in executive control. Although various studies have found evidence in support of the bilingual advantage hypothesis, it is not without controversy, as there are also studies that provide evidence against such an advantage. This study explored a novel way of testing the bilingual advantage hypothesis, utilizing rates of mind wandering during an anti-saccade task as a measure of executive control. Although bilingual participants reported lower rates of mind wandering than monolingual participants, no bilingual advantage was found in anti-saccade task performance or working memory capacity measures. Bilingual group anti-saccade task performance was not affected by increased rates of mind wandering, suggesting that some difference in the executive control system exists, but developments in objective measures of mind wandering are required to further examine this possible difference.