In recent years, a growing body of literature has shown that being in a foreign language (FL) context affects the way in which people make choices. This phenomenon is known as the foreign language effect (FLE). The FLE affects both moral decision-making and risk-aversion tendencies, but no cumulative evidence is available. Herein, we aimed to estimate, through a meta-analytical approach, the effect of being in an FL context as compared with that of a native language (NL). We found 17 studies matching our criteria and, in total, 47 experiments were included (N = 38 investigated the FLE in the moral decision-making domain; N = 9 investigated the FLE in the risk-aversion domain). Results showed that FL affects participants’ decisions as compared with NL in both the moral decision-making and risk-aversion domains, inducing participants to be more willing to accept harm in order to maximize outcomes in the former and reducing risk aversion in the latter. In addition, two metaregressions were performed on the studies that investigated the moral decision-making domain in order to assess whether participants’ proficiency in the FL, or NL–FL similarity, moderated the observed effect. Our findings indicate that proficiency in the FL does not moderate the observed effect, while NL–FL similarity does. Our results support previous findings on the FLE and provide suggestions for future research.
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