The role of the native language in auditory and visual context effect modalities

Sari Goldstein-Diament, Eli Vakil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Facilitation of memory for target stimuli due to similar context in the learning and testing phases is known as “context effect” (CE). The present study aimed to investigate the interaction between CE as elicited by the consistency of the language of presentation (Hebrew vs. English) with the native language (Hebrew vs. English) in both auditory and visual modalities. Overall, 120 individuals participated in the experiment. As predicted, CE was evident when the language of presentation remained consistent between study and test. Contrary to our prediction, Hebrew speakers remembered more English words, and vice versa. A possible explanation is that this difference is due to the cognitive effort invested when processing a less dominant language, thus resulting in better recognition. This study has several practical implications, including a recommendation that academic institutions test students in the language in which the material was presented in order to measure the students' knowledge more accurately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-570
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • context effect
  • learning
  • modality
  • native language


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