Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Ruth Propper

Committee Member

Ken Sumner

Committee Member

Elizabeth Shobe


Left- and right-handedness—Research


Previous handedness research focused on comparing left-handers (LH) and right-handers (RH). Recently, researchers have compared consistent-handed and inconsistent-handed people, as defined by the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI). Consistent-handers (CH) typically use their dominant hand for nearly all manual activities whereas inconsistent-handers (IH) do not necessarily have a dominant hand or have no preference in hand use across several daily, manual activities. Degree of handedness is consistently found as the more robust variable in handedness research. Additionally, relying solely on self-reports to identify and categorize handedness instead of longer assessments of handedness, may not able a researcher to capture the subtle individual differences between handedness groups. 164 undergraduate Montclair State University psychology students completed a packet containing three handedness questionnaires. Results indicated that CH, as defined by the EHI, that chose either “left-handed” or “righthanded” were categorized as such by the EHI, but IH, as defined by the EHI, were more inconsistent with their hand preference choices depending on the number of choices available. A higher percentage of LH, compared to RH, all of whom were categorized as inconsistent-handed by the EHI, chose “ambidextrous” when provided a third choice. Degree of handedness and longer assessments of handedness able a researcher to find subtle differences between handedness groups that would otherwise not be identified when using direction of handedness (left vs right). Additionally, going beyond the traditional dichotomy of LH and RH in handedness research will allow researchers to more accurately predict cognitive and behavioral differences between handedness groups.

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