Ever wonder why it is that you reach for and do certain things with one hand over the other? Handedness has been used to describe left or right preference but one may also be mixed-handed. Cross dominant people use their right hands for some tasks and their left for others. Ambidextrous people can use both hands equally well. In this experiment, we will be working with test subjects to determine hand or foot preference is in given situations.
For accurate results in this procedure, it is important for that your test subjects do not know what you are testing for. This controlled variable allows for all of your results to be unaffected by your subjects’ interference.
Test handedness in various people.
If people are asked to perform certain tasks, then they will choose the hand or foot that is most preferred for the action. This determines their handedness, or dominant hand or foot.
- A small ball
- To test for hand dominance, ask someone to gently toss you a small ball and record which hand he or she uses.
- To test for foot dominance, ask someone to walk slowly up a few steps and note which foot they step with first.
- Repeat your test a 3 times for each subject.
The test subjects throw the ball with their dominant hand, and step first on their dominant foot.
What makes our brains and bodies choose a dominant hand? There are a few theories as to why this happens. One theory says that it is due to the division of labor occurring within our brains. Talking is primarily controlled and processed by the left side of the brain, leaving the right side in control of our motor skills. This usually results in the dominant use of the right hand and foot. Some experiments have also suggested that hand or foot dominance are genetically inherited traits from your parents, may play a role in your own preference. Another study shows a connection between a baby’s position in the womb and handedness.