Switching Hands: A Place for Left Hand Use in a Right Hand World

Clare Porac, Laura Rees, Terri Buller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This chapter presents two separate studies with independent samples—both explored the specific nature of overt attempts to change handedness. Deviations from a neural reductionist approach to human handedness exist in the research literature. Hand preference is treated as a complex of behaviors where, for example, specific deviations from right hand use may be studied in individuals categorized as right-handers. Studies of handedness item classification concordance are often prompted by the search for performance and questionnaire items that discriminate, in a non-overlapping fashion, right- from left-handed individuals. Studies of handedness classification schemes have generated paradoxical conclusions and two groups of researchers. One group pursues the handedness dichotomy and the best method to achieve it, and the other has abandoned dichotomies in favor of classifying the diverse nature of hand use behaviors. The notion that the environment, training, and life-style factors influence handedness is a recurrent theme in the research literature. Researchers have also reported that the incidence of right-handedness varies substantially in different cultural and racial groups. Intense cultural pressure to foster right-handed writing and/or religious biases against left hand use are two reasons cited for this diversity of manifest right-handedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-290
Number of pages32
JournalAdvances in Psychology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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