Right - Left Confusion?

Do you ever have trouble telling right from left? Many people, even adults, say that they confuse right and left. For example, 71 of 364 (19.5%) college professors and 311 of 1185 (26.2%) college students said that they occasionally, frequently or all of the time had difficulty when they had to quickly identify right from left. In a 2020 study, 14.9% of the people surveyed said that they had difficulty distinguishing left from right.

Let's test your ability to tell right from left. In this experiment you are required to say if a hand is pointing up, down, left or right.

As soon as the pictures appear on your screen, "read" the hands as fast as you can. When you have finished, click on the "Finish" button. The time it took you to read all of the hands will be shown. If you want to try the same set of hands, click on the "reload" button of your browser. If you want to continue with the experiment, click on "Continue Experiment."

Go to the first test.

  1. Brandt, J. and Mackavey, W. Left-right confusion and the perception of bilateral symmetry. International Journal of Neuroscience, 12:87-94, 1981.
  2. Hannay, H.J., Ciaccia, P.J., Kerr, J.W. and Barrett, D. Self-report of right-left confusion in college men and women. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 70:451-457, 1990.
  3. Harris, L.J., Gitterman, S.R. University professors' self-descriptions of left-right confusability: sex and handedness differences. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 47:819-823, 1978.
  4. Van der Ham, I.J.M., Dijkerman, H.C., and van Stralen, H., Distinguishing left from right: A large scale investigation of left right confusion in healthy individuals. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1177/1747021820968519.

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