Anything Left-Handed > Blog Posts > Newsletter articles > March 2012 > Lefties vs. Righties: How we decide differently

Lefties vs. Righties: How we decide differently

A recent article reported on research into how our handedness can affect the way we make decisions.

We like to think that we make decisions based on our ideas of right and wrong — and we do, to an extent. But according to recent research, our choices may also be influenced by something as simple as whether we're right or left handed.
That's because right-handed people are more drawn to things on the right side of a screen or page, while left-handed people look to the left. Cognitive scientist Daniel Casasanto of The New School for Social Research says it's part of the “body-specificity hypothesis” — the idea that our physical bodies affect the decisions we make and the way we communicate with one another.

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and please add any thoughts you have on this as comments below.

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Posted in March 2012

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10 comments on “Lefties vs. Righties: How we decide differently
  1. Parkheaddoc says:

    Isn’t it interesting that right handers cannot conceive of anything other than a right handed world? I managed to ‘break’ a computer workstation at work because I forgot to reset the mouse to right handed. It puzzled IT for hours until I came back and instantly sorted it. We could sabotage a whole organisation just by asserting our right to be left.

    Incidentally,I did not change my mouse around until a year of so ago. it is so much easier and quicker to do fine cursor work with your dominant hand.

  2. Catriona MacGregor says:

    I recently downloded Explorer 8 browser until I saw that the favorites bar was on the right, I just could not get used to it, so Ihad to restore the Explorer 8 again as the favorites menu is on the left, I am quite a left hander as My wireless mouse and dongle are both connected on the left ports, thats just the way it has to be for this leftie.

  3. Patty Thompson says:

    I disagree! My decisions are based on my ability to reason and evaluate my research. It has nothing to do with whether I’m left or right handed.
    I would suggest that this testing be reconsidered. I don’t believe a persons answers to problems would be based on which hand they right with. What happens with ambidextrious persons?
    I can write with both hands and do almost anything else with both hands. I prefer to write with my left hand. My IQ was extremely high when my parents had me checked at the age of 10. I have no
    idea what it is now. I did make straight A’s in college, except for Chemistry, which I detested!

    • Paul Boegel says:

      I have a high IQ as well and am left eye dominant. You sound more like one of the lucky ambi folks. I wish I could do everything with both hands. I would expect there to be a difference in choices off the bat because we think with the opposite sides of our brain hence the expression “lefties are in their right mind”. According to an article I read in Scientific American some years ago righties use the left side of the brain which tends to be logical wereas us dedicated lefties use the right side which tends to be more on the creative/intuitive side. You appear to be among the fairly exclusive group of ambidestrous folks that sometimes use both sides of the brain. In a work party or any other such task oriented group I am almost always the leader by default because I can clearly see what is required to arrive at the objective whereas most of the righties in the group seem to need to come to terms and solve the problems first. It is a phenomena I have observed for some time although there are different levels to be sure.

  4. David McQueen says:

    I tend to do things the long way round and don’t understand why,for instance when i get out of my car, unless i really think what i’m doing i will walk all the way around the back to get to the passenger door which is twice the distance of walking around the front end.I staple documents top left when i notice that all the right handed people staple top right so when they try to flip the page they always try to turn the page from bottom left which they can’t do.I can’t lie on my right side to get to sleep only my left.Why are we so different

    • Nancy says:

      It’s so nice to hear someone say what I feel…. I am quite sure their are different shades and degree’s of left-handed-ness…. and at different times I have felt every one of them…right handed people can be very confusing and backwards !!! lol

    • Frannie W says:

      Thanks David, I had to laugh because I didn’t even notice that I do both of those thing until I read your post. I also use the mouse with my left hand and have made my right handed husband also use the left hand mouse, since we share the computer.

  5. Jim Katz says:

    Ha – that sounds good and can save us some time-wasters: A lot of web pages put their adverts down the right column of the page. If we lefties don’t pay so much attention over there, we are saving time and brain-space!

  6. Gerry Kincaid says:

    I’m a cartoonist and it wasn”t until recently that I realized all the people in my drawings are looking to the left. Now if I want someone looking right I have to turn the paper over and trace a person looking to the right.
    Turns out, I don’t have to add any features, right hand people are already funny looking!!

  7. Dave A says:

    So instead of us making our decisions based on our ideas of right and wrong, we make decisions based on our ideas of right and left!

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