Examining the Bilingual Advantage on Conflict Resolution Tasks: A Meta-Analysis

Abstract

A great deal of research has compared monolingual and bilinguals on conflict resolution tasks, with inconsistent findings: Some studies reveal a bilingual advantage on global RTs, some reveal a bilingual advantage on interference cost, and some show no advantage. We report a meta-analysis of 73 comparisons (N = 5538), with estimates of global RTs and interference cost for each study. Results revealed a moderately significant effect size that was not moderated by type of cost (global RT or interference cost) or task. Age interacted with type of cost, showing a pattern difficult to reconcile with theories of bilingualism and executive control. Additionally there was a significant main effect of lab, which might be due to sociolinguistic differences in samples, data treatment and methodology, or Hawthorne effects.


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