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Abstract

The ability of individuals to assimilate and process consumer information appears to have finite limits. If consumers are given information which exceeds their processing capacity, information overload is said to exist and results in less effective decision making. The relationship between information overload and linguistic ability was investigated in this study. Americans and Hispanics were presented with varying amounts of consumer information in their native and non-native language. As predicted, information can act as a stressor, affecting decision making in a non-native language prior to affecting decision making in a dominant language. Information overload occurred sooner in Hispanics and Americans when consumer information was presented in their non-dominant language.