71Linguaculture Resistancereactions towards language learning are simply the flip side of engagement―two opposing responses to the adjustment challenges of learning. It is assumed that engagement and resistance are self-reinforcing, creating a feedback loop of either increased openness, or increased disengagement and alienation. This is consistent with a view of motiva-tion as residing neither inside nor outside the learner. Instead, it is seen as an emergent property that results from the ongoing interaction between learner and environment (Csikszentmihalyi & Rat-hunde, 1993; Sampson, 2015). It is hypothesized that resistance involves not only a negative affective response, but that it also acts as an inhibitory filter that gets in the way of learning. 7. Resistance is natural While teachers may find resistant students chal-lenging to teach, an intercultural adjustment per-spective reminds us that negative reactions to for-eign language study are a natural part of learning. Shaules describes resistance as “perhaps the most natural reaction to an intercultural experience” (Shaules, 2007, p. 165). This is grounded in the broad-based observation that ethnocentrism is natu-ral behavior, in keeping with human evolutionary psychology (Bennett, 1993), and that living organ-isms generally are cautious when experiencing nov-elty. Resistance is deeply rooted in the cognitive archi-tecture of the mind. Mental processes tend to be bi-ased towards the familiar, a phenomenon sometimes called the mere exposure effect (Zajonc, 2001). In addition, we use different areas of the brain when reasoning about familiar and unfamiliar situations (Goel, Makale, & Grafman, 2004), and novel tasks use up mental resources, leading to cognitive strain and ego depletion (Baumeister, Bratslavasky, Mu-raven, & Tice, 1998; Kahneman, 2011). Our mind also has a tendency to be biased towards familiar in-groups (D. M. Amodio, 2009; David M. Amodio & Mendoza, 2010; Sherif, Harvey, White, Hood, & Sherif, 1961), and respond to cultural difference in terms of threat (Derks, Inzlicht, & Kang, 2008). Re-search has even shown that we tend to find non-na-tive speakers of our language less credible (Lev-Ari & Keysar, 2010). Seen in this way, resistance to language learning represents more than a bad attitude, or lack of inter-est―it reflects our natural tendency to feel com-forted by the familiar and stressed by that which is alien or unfamiliar. And since resistance is gener-ated largely at the unconscious level, we cannot ex-pect learners to easily control or change their own attitudes. Indeed, learners may underestimate the difficulty of learning a new language, and blame themselves for their own feelings of failure and re-sistance. 8. Resistance and value judgments A key theoretical assumption about resistance is that it is characterized by critical value judgments―a hesitation to accept a phenomenon as reasonable and normal (Shaules, 2007). Among sojourners in foreign countries, these negative judgments are commonly reflected in disparaging or denigrating comments about cultural difference. Importantly, however, such criticism or denigration is often seen as a simple reporting of the facts. The person who says “The people in that country are really primi-tive” believes this to be true in an objective way, Figure 1. Engagement and resistance.