Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Catalano, Isabella. The Effect of Multilingualism on Executive Function. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. October 2018.


Has not yet been submitted for publication, but may be submitted in the future pending further revisions.


In today's world, monolingualism is in the minority (Alonso et al., 2017); however, there is still a lack of understanding about the potential effects of being bi- or multilingual, and whether there is an effect of bilingualism in executive function is debated, given multiple contradictory studies (Paap et al., 2015). This study aims to more closely examine whether the number of languages spoken is related to executive function. In this study, sixty-three participants (mean age = 19.9 years, males = 10) completed the Stroop and flanker tasks, measures of inhibitory control, as well as the Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire, and the Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT). There were 23 monolingual participants, 30 bilinguals, and 10 multilinguals. ANOVAs were used to identify potential differences in inhibitory control across monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual participants. Overall, no effects or interactions were found, which is in line with some of the literature but contradicts other studies.