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Many languages = many personalities

Or so says a new study by psychologists at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The researchers say that the language spoken can lead the person speaking it taking on the personality traits of the culture that is associated with the language. For example, when native Chinese students spoke English, they were observed to adopt more “Western” behaviour and apparently became more aggressive.

The ethnicity of the interviewer mattered also apparently:

In either language [English or Cantonese], observers rated students as more extraverted, assertive, helpful and open to new experiences when speaking to a Caucasian interviewer as compared with when they talked to a Chinese interviewer. (Source: Scientific American)

Unfortunately I can’t view the entire article, but it’s an interesting idea. Having encountered lots of different cultures through my travels, I think most people adapt to their surroundings rather than undergo a personality change. What do you think?