New research published in the Psychological Science shows that right-handed folks prefer items—and people!—on their right, while left-handed people like people and things on their left.
In the first part of the (admittedly strange) study, right-handed subjects moved around dominoes with either their right or left hand. Though they were allowed to use both hands, they wore a ski-glove on either their left or right hand, making it difficult to complete the task using the gloved hand. Then, subjects were shown a diagram of a cartoon character in between two boxes—one to his right, one to his left. They were asked where they would distribute so-called “good” animals or “bad” animals between the two boxes.
Here’s the freaky part: The hand the subjects used to move the dominoes corresponded to where they put the “good” animals—righties put the “good” animals in the box on the right, and the temporary lefties (because of the glove) did the opposite.
The results show that people have positive associations with the side of their dominant hand. “People tend to like things better when they’re easier to access,” explains Daniel Casasanto, Ph.D., of the New School for Social Research, and lead author of the study. “Once people associate a certain location with ‘goodness,’ it can be applied more broadly—not only to objects, but to people, too,” explains Casasanto.
Asking your right-handed boss for a promotion? “Make sure you’re on his right side—or your left,” explains Casasanto.
“And in the bedroom, if you can, try to sleep on each other’s ‘good sides,’” says Casasanto. To which we reply: What if you’re both right-handed? What if she rolls over on her stomach? Try this instead: Say “good morning” when you wake up, like 94 percent of couples who rate their relationships as excellent.