It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Yale Behavioural Economist: ''Why speaking English can make you poor when you retire''

page: 1

log in


posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:01 PM
Behavioural Economist report: ''Why speaking English can make you poor when you retire''

The importance of Tense

A behavioural economist has made a study that shows possible links to language use and finances. I think language and pronunciation affect behaviour and thought processes generally (my opinion, no science report required). When I think in French it is somehow different to when I think in English for example.

Does anyone else have a similar thought, or agree/ disagree with the possibilities of this report?

Could the language we speak skew our financial decision-making, and does the fact that you're reading this in English make you less likely than a Mandarin speaker to save for your old age?

It is a controversial theory which has been given some weight by new findings from a Yale University behavioural economist, Keith Chen.

Prof Chen says his research proves that the grammar of the language we speak affects both our finances and our health.

Bluntly, he says, if you speak English you are likely to save less for your old age, smoke more and get less exercise than if you speak a language like Mandarin, Yoruba or Malay.

Of course the report has it's detractors. See link for details.

Edit for MODS, this is in Science as it is essentially Psychology though if there is a better forum please move it to there.
edit on 22-2-2013 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-2-2013 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)

edit on Fri Feb 22 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: trimmed quote, ex tags IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS

posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:23 PM
Interesting .. quite true .. english is a limited language ..I think and mostly speak in japanese usually takes awhile to translate to / from english ..

posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:24 PM
I have really hard time to take serious any one from Management area. And his academic background don't seem give him much base for such "theories".

edit on 22/2/13 by blackcube because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:32 PM
reply to post by blackcube

His ''background'' credentials and education have allowed him plenty of Research grants, and these things are often competitive.

Ph.D. Harvard University Department of Economics, 2003
Advisors: Drew Fudenberg, David Laibson, and Al Roth
Thesis: Bargaining Behind Bars: Peer and Strategic Interactions in Theory and Data
Bachelors of Science with honors in Mathematics; Stanford University, 1998
Thesis: Non-Archimedean Probabilities and the Foundations of Rationality

Current Position:
Associate Professor of Economics: Yale School of Management
Other Affiliations: Department of Economics & Cowles Foundation, and Cognitive Science

Past Positions:
2003-2008: Assistant Professor of Economics: Yale School of Management

Other Academic Positions:
2013-present: Associate Editor, Behavioral Science and Policy
Referee for the:
American Economic Review, American Law and Economics Review, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Management Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Proceedings of the Royal Society, RAND Journal of Economics, and the Review of Economics and Statistics.

Research Fields:
Applied Microeconomic Theory with a focus in Behavioral Economics
Teaching Fields:
Microeconomics, Behavioral Economics, and Strategy

Grants and Awards:
2013: Science, Editors' Choice for "The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior"
2011: Yale SOM Alumni Association, Annual Teaching Award
2008: Roger F. Murray Prize, The Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance
2008: American Law and Economics Review Distinguished Article Prize
2006-2011: National Science Foundation research grant
2006-2007: Behavioral economics research grant, Russell Sage Foundation
2005-2007: Neuroeconomics; Whitebox Advisors Research Grant, Yale ICF, Behavioral Finance Initiative
2004-2006: Capuchin Research; Whitebox Advisors Research Grant, Yale ICF, Behavioral Finance Initiative
2004: Behavioral Economics Field-Study Research Grant, Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies

2008-present: Introduction to Game Theory, Yale School of Management (required)
2008-present: Introduction to Managerial Economics, Yale School of Management (required)
2005-present: Behavioral Economics and Strategy, Yale University (elective)
2004-2008: Negotiating Strategy; Yale School of Management (elective)
2003-2008: Economics Analysis: Yale School of Management (required)

posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:46 PM

But he says his research has controlled for all these factors, by concentrating on nine multi-lingual countries: Belgium, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Estonia, DR Congo, Nigeria, Malaysia, Singapore, and Switzerland.

Sounds like nonesense is my thought, with emphasis on what I italicized from the article at BBC.

posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:58 PM
It has always amazed me how the Native American Indians could always say so little but at the same time speak so much wisdom. I have read some interesting conversations where Military men and the city folk would spend hours arguing with the braves, then some old indian would stand up and spout out a sentence that hushed the crowd and ended the conversation. Maybe these men were just wise, but I think it had something to do with how they thought.

Language definitely has a huge impact on how you think as well it plays a big role in forming your perspective. How you define your world is limited by the words that you have to choose from.

It is amazing, just the thought that we think to ourselves in the native language that we speak, actually hearing the words in our heads.

posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 06:40 AM
Mandarin has simple verb tense. What about Spanish it has 14 verb tenses.French has similar future tense as English. The I will I guess is the problem.

If your language separates the future and the present in its grammar, that seems to lead you to slightly disassociate the future from the present”

While that is stating the obvious I do see the point if you do speak in a present tense, almost like living in the now. The I will save for my retirement, is almost a maybe and therefore not do it.

new topics

top topics


log in