Left-Handedness: Laterality Characteristics and Their Educational Implications

Clark, Margaret Macdonald (1953) Left-Handedness: Laterality Characteristics and Their Educational Implications. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The first part of the present study was devoted to a critical analysis of the main investigations which have been performed on the more important aspects of laterality characteristics; while the second part contained an original research into the laterality characteristics of a group of 330 school children of about eleven years of age. The children (162 boys and 168 girls) were subjected to a battery of eighteen tests of the various aspects of lateral asymmetry and to a writing test. In addition, the marks obtained by the subjects on the Group Intelligence Test and the Achievement Tests, which are administered to all children in the schools under the Glasgow Education Committee at the completion of the Primary Stage of their education, were utilised in the present study. The following are the main findings of the experimental section of the study: A. PREFERENCE TESTS Thirteen preference tests were performed by the subjects, three tests each of hand, foot and ear preferences, and four tests measuring eye preference. 1. Right preference predominated in all tests of preference, the greatest percentage of right preference being evident in the tests of handedness. 2. In the tests of hand preference, screwing and throwing were the two activities with the greatest connection; reaching, though positively correlated with the other two, showed more undecided subjects. The percentages for right, left and doubtful preference on all three tests were 71.5, 2.4 and 26.1 per cent respectively, taking all those not consistent on all twelve trials as 'doubtful'. 3. The foot preference tests of kicking and hopping were positively correlated, but there was no significant connection between the foot used in stepping off and the foot used in the other two activities. 4. The two ear preference tests, Sound in Box and the Stop Watch Test, gave connected results, while the results of the Head Turning Test were connected with the former but not the latter test. 5. There was a close connection between the results of all four tests of eyedness, the Cone, Hole in Card, Peep Show and Cylinder Tests. The percentages for right, left and doubtful preference were 48.5, 26 and 25.5 per cent, respectively, taking all those who were not consistent on all sixteen trials as 'doubtful'. 6. A significant correlation was found between each of the three tests of hand preference and the Kicking Test of footedness, and also between the Hopping Test and both the Screwing and Throwing Tests of handedness. 7. The ear preferred in the Stop Watch Test of earedness, where the subject was permitted to hold the watch, had some connection with the hand preferred in the hand preference tests, as also had the direction in which the head was turned at a sound; while the Sound in Box Test of earedness, where the direct influence of handedness was removed, was connected with the preferred eye. 8. There was no connection between the preferred hand in the tests of hand preference and the preferred eye. 9. No connection was evident between those who were non-dominant or changeable in the tests of handedness and those who were doubtful on the tests of eyedness. 10. The boys showed a greater tendency than the girls towards left preference in all tests of hand, foot and ear preference (except the Hopping Test). However, only in reaching, stepping and the Stop Watch Test were the differences great enough to be significant. B. SPEED OF CROSSING TEST The Speed of Crossing Test measured the relative ability of the writing and non-writing hand in drawing crosses at a high speed. 1. A sex difference was found in ability to perform the test, girls being on the average quicker than boys. 2. There was a tendency for the left-hand writers to be slower than right-handers of the same sex in performing the task with the writing hand. 3. The ratio of ability with the writing hand to ability with the non-writing hand was calculated, and showed that in the left-hand writers there was a tendency for the two hands to be closer in ability than were those of the right-hand writers. 4. A significantly smaller ratio of writing hand to non-writing hand was found among the right-handed boys than among the right-handed girls, in other words, the superiority of the right hand over the left hand was greater among the girls. 5. A significantly greater percentage of those with a low index of handedness on this test showed some left tendencies on the preference tests than showed no such tendencies; while a greater percentage of those with a high index of handedness showed right preference on all the tests than showed any left tendency. C. SIMULTANEOUS WRITING TEST 1. When visual cues to direction were removed, as in this test, there was a tendency for the non-writing hand to mirror in bimanual writing; there was, however, some mirroring with the hand accustomed to writing. In the total group of subjects, the mirroring with the right hand was approximately one-sixth as frequent as mirroring with the left hand. 2. There was no evidence of mirroring in one-third of the subjects, while 45 subjects mirrored with both hands. All but eight of the remaining subjects mirrored with the writing hand only. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Educational psychology
Date of Award: 1953
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1953-78910
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2020 12:09
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 12:09
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/78910

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