Human Laterality Information and Right or Left Hand Test
Synopsis: Information, facts and statistics regarding human laterality, the preference for one side of the body over the other. Includes right or left handedness test. A cross-dominant person might write with the right hand and kick a ball using the left foot. Ambidexterity means a person has no preference for the use of the right or left hand. There are number of different tests and measurement scales used to assess the dominance of a person's right or left hand in everyday activities, also referred to as laterality.
In humans, handedness is an individual preference for use of a hand, known as the dominant hand; the incapable, less capable or less preferred hand is called the non-dominant hand. It is estimated that around 90% of the world's population is right-handed. Because the vast majority of the population is right-handed, many devices are designed for use by a right-handed person, which makes their use by left-handed people more difficult.
If you're left-handed you are in good company; Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Barack Obama are all left-handed. However, the majority of humans are right-handed. Many are also right-sided in general (they prefer to use their right eye, right foot and right ear if forced to make a choice between the two).
International Left-Handers Day is held annually every August 13th. It was founded by the Left-Handers Club in 1992 - the club itself was founded in 1990. International Left-Handers Day is, according to the club, "an annual event when left-handers everywhere can celebrate their sinistrality (left-handedness) and increase public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed."
The term laterality refers to the preference most humans show for one side of their body over the other. Examples include left-handedness/right-handedness and left/right-footedness; it may also refer to the primary use of the left or right hemisphere in the brain. When a person is forced to use the hand opposite of the hand that they would naturally use, this is known as forced laterality, or more specifically forced dextrality. Ambidexterity is when a person has approximately equal skill with both hands and/or both sides of the body.
So We Have:
- Right-handedness - The most common.
- Left-handedness - Far less common than right-handedness.
- Ambidexterity - Means a person has no marked preference for the use of the right or left hand. Equal ability to use both hands, is exceptionally rare.
- Cross-dominance or mixed-handedness, hand confusion, or mixed dominance - A motor skill manifestation in which a person favors one hand for some tasks and the other hand for others, or a hand and the contralateral leg. For example, a cross-dominant person might write with the right hand and do everything else with the left one, or manage and kick a ball preferentially with the left leg. It can also refer to mixed laterality, which refers to a person favoring eyes, ears, feet, or hands on one side of the body.
- Footedness - The natural preference of using the left or right foot for various purposes. It is the foot equivalent of handedness.
- Ocular dominance, eye preference or eyedness - The tendency to prefer visual input from one eye to the other. It is somewhat analogous to the laterality of right or left-handedness - however, the side of the dominant eye and the dominant hand do not always match.
- Earedness or Ear Advantage - The condition or tendency to hear with one ear more than the other. Your right ear is better than your left ear at receiving sounds from speech, whereas your left ear is more sensitive to sounds of music and song, according to American researchers behind a study of the hearing in 3,000 newborns. If you are a left-brain thinker, the chances are you use your right hand to hold your phone up to your right ear, according to a study from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. 70% of people hold their phone to ear on the same side as dominant hand. 95% are left-brain thinkers but there is no greater incidence of brain tumors in right side of brain.
Approximate Statistics For the Above Are:
- Favoring right hand: 88.2%
- Ambidexterity: Very uncommon, about a 1% prevalence
- Cross-dominance: Very uncommon, about a 1% prevalence.
- Favoring right foot: 81.0%
- Favoring right eye: 71.1%
- Favoring right ear: 59.1%
- Same hand and foot: 84%
- Same ear and eye: 61.8%
Though most people are right-handed or left-handed, there are different "degrees" of handedness. Some people use one hand for jobs that require skill and the other hand for jobs that involve reaching.
There are number of different tests and measurement scales used to assess the dominance of a person's right or left hand in everyday activities, also referred to as laterality. We have included one such handedness test for you to try below:
For each of the questions below select a point option:
Always RIGHT = +2
|Writing a letter legibly||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|Throwing ball to hit a target||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|Playing game requiring use of a racquet||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|At top of broom when sweeping||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|At top of a shovel when shoveling||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|To hold a match when striking it||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|To hold scissors to cut paper||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|To hold thread to guide through the eye of a needle||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|To deal playing cards||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|To hammer a nail into wood||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|To hold toothbrush while cleaning teeth||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|To unscrew the lid of a jar||-2||-1||0||+1||+2|
|Determining Your Score|
For each of the 12 questions, assign point values:
Add up your scores for the 12 questions. The maximum score is +24 (extreme right handedness), the minimum score is -24 (extreme left handedness).
YOUR TOTAL SCORE =_________
|Interpreting Your Score|
Scores can be divided into three parts:
-24 to -9 = Left handed
|Data from the paper of Briggs and Nebes (1975) for college students|
|Left handed||Mixed handed||Right handed||TOTAL|
|Males||74 (8.9%)||47 (5.7%)||710 (85.4%)||831|
|Females||72 (9.4%)||37 (4.8%)||659 (85.8%)||768|
Testing Other Aspects of Laterality
Other aspects of laterality can also be tested quite simply. For example;
This questionnaire was adapted from the handedness questionnaire by Briggs, G.G. and Nebes, R.D., Patterns of hand preference in a student population, Cortex, 11:230-238, 1975)
Resources That Provide Relevant Information
- Fascinating and Amazing Human Body Facts and Trivia
- Left-handed? Slender Face Identified as Marker for Left-Handedness
- Sign Language Comprehension Different for Right or Left-handed Signers
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Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as X.com and our Facebook page.
Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for qualified professional medical care, nor should they be construed as such. Funding is derived from advertisements or referral programs. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.