Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Cognitive Science
Observe and describe the effects of left and right handedness on writing speed and penmanship.
The goals of this project are:
- To determine the importance of handedness.
- To devise a test of handedness in relation to writing ability.
- In what ways are left-handed people said to be different from right-handed people?
- What percentage of people are left-handed?
- What are some existing theories regarding handedness?
- What studies have been done on this attribute, and what did the studies reveal?
The differences between left-handed and right-handed people has been a topic of interest among behavioral scientists throughout the ages. In this project you will devise a test of the correlation between handedness and writing-related motor skills like speed and penmanship.
- Computer with Internet access
- Color printer
- Digital camera
- Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).
- Ten right-handed volunteers
- Ten left-handed volunteers
- Carefully study the related literature (see bibliography below).
- Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
- Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
- Take interesting photos throughout the course of the experiment.
- Ask all volunteers to hand-copy the same paragraph of text. These will serve as penmanship samples.
- Ask all volunteers to hand-copy another paragraph of text as fast as they can. Measure the time it takes in seconds for each volunteer to complete the paragraph.
- Select several pairs of handwriting samples (one of each pair randomly chosen from the left-handed group and one of each pair randomly chosen from the right-handed group).
- Show these to people (not the volunteers), and ask which handwriting sample they think “looks neater.”
- Analyze your data, comparing results between the two groups of volunteers.
- Explain your findings in a detailed report.
- Include graphics, charts, diagrams and live chickens in your science fair display.
Terms/Concepts: Ambidexterity; Mixed-handedness
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handedness (The attribute known as left or right handedness)
- http://www.education.com/reference/article/handedness/ (Excellent article on handedness from the world's best educational website)
- Internet searches of your choosing. Search words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!