The ability to overcome life's challenges and to thrive as a result is humanity's number one desired outcome. Resilience leads to happiness, prosperity, peace and inner equilibrium. Studies about individuals demonstrating resilience are therefore of great utility. An experiment was undertaken to find out whether multilingualism and positive visualizations of having overcome stressful events could positively influence resilience, as measured by the dependent variable of heart rate increases in beats per minute. This experiment involved 120 female 18- and 19-year old undergraduate volunteers recruited from a prestigious American undergraduate university. Items from the Holmes and Rahe Stress Inventory (Christie-Seeley, 1983) were read to participants, and their heart rates were recorded prior to testing and immediately after. Results showed that the quasi-independent variable (number of languages spoken fluently) did have a relation to heart rate changes. The second independent variable (how the inventory items were read to the participants) demonstrated a causational effect. The experiment presented numerous limitations, including the inability to ascertain whether or not the sample group varied too much from the general population. Future experiments could investigate whether certain inventory items demonstrated greater disparities in heart rate increases between groups. Fluency in languages further removed from English, i.e. non-Germanic and non-Romance languages might point to increased resilience, and therefore could be an interesting and useful possible correlation to study in the future.
Library Student Research Award
Winner - Graduate
Boca Raton, Florida
Lopez-Escobar, Grisel, "Can Multilingualism and Positive Visualizations Influence Resilience?" (2017). Student Publications & Presentations. 8.