A host of variables—well-crafted words, for example—can be used to sway perceptions. According to Newsweek, determining whether someone is right- or left-handed, then influencing their spacial perceptions accordingly, is another way to curry favour.
Photo by said&done.
According to the article, the word “right” doesn’t only provide spatial meaning. It also influences both “morality and correctness” values. For that reason, people who are right and left-handed may interpret concepts and traits differently. Specifically:
For southpaws, the left side of any space has positive moral, intellectual, and emotional connotations; for righties, the right side does…right- and left-handers implicitly associated positive [values]more strongly with the side of space on which they could act more fluently with their dominant hands.
For example, when volunteers were asked about two job candidates whose resumes were printed side-by-side (more substantive measures notwithstanding), right-handed people regularly chose the person on the right and left-handers the one on the left. Newsweek says the participants were “unconsciously swayed by their experience of space more than the conventions of language and culture”. Applying this logic by checking to see if someone is right- or left-handed and then shifting their spacial perceptions could be used to influence—however ever-so-slightly—their subsequent judgments.
That’s not to say that we recommend trying to outright manipulate anyone based on their dominant hand (we doubt doing so would really work all that reliably anyway), but it’s at the very least something worth thinking about in your own decision making.
Browse the post—an interesting read, if nothing else—for more information.