Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2015 So Yeon Shin. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Psychology Department

First Advisor

Stella Christie

Second Advisor

K. Ann Renninger


Research suggests that bilinguals have better Executive Functions (EFs) than monolinguals; in particular, bilinguals are better at inhibiting responses to irrelevant stimuli (Bialystok & Martin, 2004). This study asks whether this bilingual advantage is generalizable to another fundamental cognitive process: analogical reasoning. Bilingual and monolingual children's analogical reasoning was tested using the Relational Match-to-sample (RMTS) task, a classic analogy task that asks children to match relations between the sample and the target choices. Bilingual and monolingual children of 3- and 4-years-old performed comparably when they had to match the choices based on the relations. Critically, however, when the relational matches were pitted against the object matches, bilingual children outperformed their monolingual peers in selecting the relational matches (e.g., analogy). The same bilingual children, on the other hand, did not perform better than the monolinguals in the Simon task, a standard inhibitory control task. Overall, these results suggest that there may be factors other than inhibitory control that contribute to the bilingual advantage in analogical reasoning. This is one of the first studies that show bilingual-monolingual cognitive differences in analogical reasoning.