Right-handers `can be left to think like lefties`

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2011, 19:19 PM IST

London: People associate "good" with their dominant side, whether they`re right or left-handed. But it can be changed -- for example, right-handers can be made to think like lefties, says a new study.

A team, led by Daniel Casasanto at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands, showed 13 people a cartoon character in between two squares, and told them that it "loves zebras and thinks they are good, but hates pandas and thinks they are bad", the `New Scientist` reported.

They then asked them which square the character would put each animal in. All 13 people had once been right-handed, but eight had lost control of their right sides. Of these, at least seven said that the zebra should go on the left side.

The remaining five chose the right-hand square.

The team then asked 55 right-handed students to wear a heavy glove on one hand while trying to stand up dominoes.

When they were then asked the panda or zebra question, the students were five times more likely to put the zebra in the box corresponding to their mobile hand.

"If wearing a glove for a few minutes can reverse our decisions about what`s good and bad, maybe the mind is more malleable than we thought," said Casasanto.

The findings have been published in the `Psychological
Science` journal.

PTI