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Monday, September 10, 2007

Thumb Dominance Experiment

DOMINANT THUMB EXPERIMENT

ABSTRACT
The hypothesis of the experiment states that when people clasp their hands, the thumb of the dominant hand may overlap the thumb of the non-dominant hand. The experiment is conducted to determine whether there is a correlation between which thumb is on top when the hands are clasped and hand dominance.

HYPOTHESIS
In theory, the thumb of the dominant hand should be on top when the hands are clasped.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND TESTING
Fifty volunteers were located to participate in the study.

PROCEDURES
The subjects were asked to state which was their dominant hand, then to clasp their hands together and see which thumb ended up on top.

SUMMARY OF DATA
SUBJECTS NUMBER % OF TOTAL SUBJECTS
Right handed with right thumb dominant (7) 14%
Right handed with left thumb dominant (34) 68%
Left handed with right thumb dominant (4) 8%
Left handed with left thumb dominant (5) 10%
Total number of experimental subjects (50) 100
Number of subjects per category divided by total subjects 100

RESULTS
As is shown in the table, 68% of subjects were right hand dominant with left thumb dominant. 14% were right handed with right thumb dominant. 10% were left handed with left thumb dominant and 8% were left handed with right thumb dominant. The majority of people in the world are right handed and that was reflected in this experiment. It is interesting to note that overall, thumb dominance is seen to be the opposite of hand dominance. This is overwhelmingly true with the right handed subjects. However, in the left handed subjects, a small majority had left thumb dominance. It is uncertain why this would be the case.
Overall, the hypothesis that thumb dominance should match hand dominance was disproven. However, the question remains as to why it appears that in left handed persons, thumb dominance generally matches hand dominance.

6 comments:

Raine said...

maybe it has to do with which side of the brain is dominant.......

mago said...

I am one of the 7 right-handed with right thumb up. We rule. As raine said it has surely to do with the brain-sides. As I vaguely remember the hands are cross-connected to the brain-halves: Right hand to left side, left hand to right side - but I may be totally wrong about that.

Amanda said...

Thanks for posting this. I wanted to know how it turned out.

Anonymous said...

I too had to do this experiment. Doing a bit of background research I learned that thumb dominance is actually caused by an allele. If you have the dominant allele your left thumb will be dominant and if you have the resessive allele your right thumb will be dominant. Who would have thought?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
You were saying that you learned that thumb dominance is caused by an allele. I am in the middle of doing this experiment now and would very much like to know where you learned this fact. Would you please provide your references?
Thank you.

ally said...

I wonder how many of us are taking biology this semester! Yes, I too am doing a similar experiment. My thoughts are, would it be better to balance out your test subjects, like 25 left-handed people and 25 right-handed people? A sample size of seven (for the lefties) is quite small.