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What is Right?
August 4, 2009 8:09 PM   Subscribe


 
Human cognition is so fucked up.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:10 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


man, you can't trust blue fribbles at all. Everyone knows that.
posted by boo_radley at 8:12 PM on August 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


left left left and top.
but at first I thought it was going to be a selection of delicious Friendly's(TM) Fribble(TM) milkshakes.
posted by nutate at 8:13 PM on August 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


This is the only Fribble® I know.

In relevant and current news: Friendly's debuts smaller restaurant.*
posted by ericb at 8:15 PM on August 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


I thought it was selecting for certain features. By the end, I realized that I chose left, left, left for the first three. It's entirely possible that my instinct was to think "left" and then I came up with reasons to justify that choice. I'm a lefty, obviously.
posted by deanc at 8:17 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


left, right, right - top. Functionally right handed, but actually ambi. Guess that shows?
posted by strixus at 8:17 PM on August 4, 2009


Oh crap, I'm left handed?
posted by peeedro at 8:18 PM on August 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


left left left top. And I'm right handed.

Back to the inkblots for me, I guess.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:20 PM on August 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


right, left, right, neither.

I thought I was right handed, but apparently I'm just confused.
posted by oddman at 8:25 PM on August 4, 2009


left left left and top

So, you're one of them, eh? Decent folks know it's left right left and neither.
posted by el_lupino at 8:25 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


left left left top. And I'm right handed.

Are either of your biological parents left-handed? A right-hander with a left-handed parent can show some neurological differences compared to right-handed children of right-handers.
posted by orthogonality at 8:28 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait... I can't click and have those choices registered?

What kind of internet is this? shit.
posted by hippybear at 8:31 PM on August 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


I fribble. We fribble. Felt up fribbles.
posted by netbros at 8:32 PM on August 4, 2009


Ah yes, the trouble with tribbles...
posted by RichAromas at 8:32 PM on August 4, 2009


I am an idiot. "tribbles" = "fribbles". Missed it by THAT much... :-)
posted by RichAromas at 8:33 PM on August 4, 2009


I'm left handed for writing, right-handed for most things - oh god my world is so topsy-turvy right now!!

Starting out I was right into this but now I'm left with a bottomless sense of desolation.
posted by smoke at 8:34 PM on August 4, 2009


And you all left it to me to do the obligatory Star Trek Tribbles reference? Sigh, okay...

"I couldn't finish the quiz. The fribbles were multiplying too quickly."
posted by wendell at 8:34 PM on August 4, 2009


and then I came up with reasons to justify that choice.

More and more, I think that much of what we "believe" and even "will" (there are a number of studies showing that we begin movements prior to "deciding" to), is really post-hoc justification/rationalization of unconscious decisions.

Our conscious minds seem to have a lot to do with language -- with telling stories. Consciousness may be no more than telling stories to ourselves in much the way we tell stories to others to manipulate them (in all senses, not just the pejorative sense of that word). We seem to also tell ourselves stories to manipulate ourselves, to provide a "rational" veneer for our very biased choices and to provide cover for our very selfish motivations.
posted by orthogonality at 8:34 PM on August 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'd thank you, Rich Aromas, but you were a few seconds too late... (and my typing is way too slow)
posted by wendell at 8:35 PM on August 4, 2009


We all agree on top though, right? Because I wouldn't trust that bottom fribble any further than I could throw him.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:38 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right, right, left, bottom.

Oh. My. God... I'm gay!
posted by Kattullus at 8:41 PM on August 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


1. Right, because the design seemed more complex (the zig-zaggedy "neck" piece seemed to serve some intricate purpose).

2. Right, because the horn-shaped antennae at the top were longer, giving the impression that the right-side fribble was "flaunting the goods".

3. Left, because the conic protrusion was angled upward, giving the impression of interest, stimulation, arousal, etc.

4. Top, because the one on the bottom tried to fuck my wife.
posted by jeremy b at 8:41 PM on August 4, 2009 [45 favorites]


I'm a neurobiology student.

None of them looked particularly skewed either way, because those kind of experiments are just, in my opinion, silly and the methodology isn't based in any sort of predetermined fact.
posted by kldickson at 8:47 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Right, right, left, bottom.

Oh. My. God... I'm Kattullus!
posted by nicwolff at 8:49 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


1. Right looks more creative and insightful, but left probably has more solid judgment most of the time, even though s/he can be a little predictable.

2. Right is more beautiful and elegant, but left has a certain quiet dignity that is admirable.

3. Left definitely, because s/he just seems to be totally excited about life. Righty is too focused on work and needs to loosen up!

4. Bottom because s/he has a more stable base -- seems to have both his/her feet on the ground, if you know what I mean, and the backside protrusions are straight ahead. This is a straight-shooter, on the straight talk express. Top is a bit bent, signifying a willingness to bend the truth.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:50 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Neither, neither, neither and neither.. what do I win?
posted by pwally at 8:50 PM on August 4, 2009


left, left, left, top, right-handed. To be fair, though, a squared face can represent rigid analysis, simplicity and a curved nose can represent attractiveness, an upturned snout can denote happiness and I've read articles before that claim that people are more likely to trust a vertically-semetrical face.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:51 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Left, left, left, top. And I'm a total right hander.

Like all good metafites, I am convinced my choices are obvious and all other choices are mistakes, lack of paying attention, purposefully contrarian, a clear sign of moral inferiority or an indication of developmental disability.
posted by cccorlew at 8:54 PM on August 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


Consciousness may be no more than telling stories to ourselves in much the way we tell stories to others to manipulate them (in all senses, not just the pejorative sense of that word). We seem to also tell ourselves stories to manipulate ourselves, to provide a "rational" veneer for our very biased choices and to provide cover for our very selfish motivations.

There's a great science fiction short story that runs with this idea, but I can't reference it because the book in which it's contained is in the back of a storage locker right now.
posted by deanc at 8:57 PM on August 4, 2009


left, left, left, bottom, from an unambiguous righty with a left-handed parent.
posted by lalex at 8:57 PM on August 4, 2009


Right-hander here, chose left-left-left-top.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:59 PM on August 4, 2009


This needs an NSFW tag.

Some of those fribbles are NAKED. And those POSITIONS!
posted by rokusan at 9:02 PM on August 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


My parents are right-handed, I'm right-handed, and I chose left, left, left, bottom.

I do not think this SCIENCE! is doing what you think it is doing, Dr. Casasanto.
posted by scrump at 9:10 PM on August 4, 2009


left, left, left, bottom, from an unambiguous righty with a left-handed parent.
posted by lalex at 8:57 PM on August 4


That describes my choices, handedness, and parental situation exactly. Spooky!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:11 PM on August 4, 2009


Up up down down left right left right B A ... wait, what game are we playing?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 PM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm a righty and got left, right, left, bottom. So 1/4. No more quadrotriticale for me.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:19 PM on August 4, 2009


Left-Right-Left-Bottom

Right-handed.
posted by radgardener at 9:23 PM on August 4, 2009


I picked right left right and bottom. I guess I'll take their word for it that there's something to this but I have a really difficult time with right and left considering I'm a grown man. I had to think about this, so I'm going to assume that my pro right characteristics were based not on handedness but how the abstract characteristics of the figures correlate to stereotyped racial features of races that I'm secretly prejudiced against thank you very much.
posted by I Foody at 9:24 PM on August 4, 2009


I looked at the link and made my decisions before I came inside... and I'm right handed.

1. Left. The right one looks like a kid fribble. 2. Left. I think it's much more feminine of a fribble; look her arms, her nose. The right fribble looks much more masculine with it's blocky arms and thick nose. 3. Left. Yeah, it's damned near wagging it's tail. 4. Bottom. I have no idea why i picked that one.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 9:30 PM on August 4, 2009


Left, left, left(maybe right), bottom.

Biologist by training, drunk by nature.

The ones on the left seem to have less "frivolous" structures (ie., less random sex-selected physical characteristics) while the 'bottom' is more organic than mechanical.

Then again, form =/= function =/= intelligence. Heck. Look at US.

As a scientist, I refuse to stand by my answers unless I get to interact with these beasties.
posted by porpoise at 9:32 PM on August 4, 2009


nutate & DB: left left left and top.

Haha! I picked right, right, right, bottom. I guess it makes sense that I'm extremely right-handed then.
posted by Avelwood at 9:35 PM on August 4, 2009


Left. I think it's much more feminine of a fribble; look her arms, her nose. The right fribble looks much more masculine with it's blocky arms and thick nose.

Agreed.
posted by orthogonality at 9:37 PM on August 4, 2009


More and more, I think that much of what we "believe" and even "will" (there are a number of studies showing that we begin movements prior to "deciding" to), is really post-hoc justification/rationalization of unconscious decisions.


orthogonality, This Book makes a good case for that hypothesis.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:38 PM on August 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


These fribbles, they are a Russian inwention.
posted by kldickson at 9:48 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


left, left, left, and the little guy on the bottom 'cause he looks like he's having a good time.
posted by Partario at 9:55 PM on August 4, 2009


Left, left, left, top. And I'm hard-core right-handed. SUCK IT SCIENCE!
posted by mrnutty at 10:15 PM on August 4, 2009


Of course, with everyone here looking at the exact same fribbles, we may be selecting for particular features, which would presumably have been accounted for by randomizing the positions of the fribbles in the actual test.

Also: "Of the participants who showed a directional preference..."

Some of the other experiments don't seem to have such a caveat listed, but this seems to indicate that a not insignificant portion of the respondents to the fribble test had no significant tendency to either direction.

For me, I just couldn't make a decision for most of them. As amusing as the fribbles are, the other experiments seem better designed to force a response of some sort. Of course, this article says nothing about how strong this tendency is relative to other tendencies. Does it only show up when there's nothing else to base our decisions on? If we have some other reason to choose between two options (rational or irrational), does this handedness tendency ever seem to override it? Those seem to be the questions I would want to know the answers to next before trying to get anything useful out of this. Otherwise, it just sounds like we've got a built in way to keep ourselves from getting stuck in indecision loops (though it's still cool to see that it's linked to handedness).

orthogonality:
I think there's a lot to the idea that the rational parts of our minds aren't in charge of the decisions, but don't despair. Every now and then, the heavily biased, emotional, decision-making parts of our minds seem to decide to act upon the results of our rational thoughts, perhaps in the same way that we might decide to obey the flip of a coin. The trick to overcoming* the irrational nature of our decision-making process is to take advantage of those moments when we irrationally decide to listen to reason, much as an addict might, in a brief moment of clarity, check themselves into rehab, throw out their cigarettes, ask a friend to keep them honest in the future, or handcuff themselves to their bed. There is no question in my mind that we are irrational beings, but I do think that we reason for a reason.**


*Provided you actually want to make rational decisions.
**I mean this in an evolutionary sense, but if you want to think of it spiritually, it works both ways.

posted by ErWenn at 10:17 PM on August 4, 2009


ericb props for the links to Friendly's site and the new Friendly's express.
posted by nutate at 10:18 PM on August 4, 2009


I'm an animator.

Right - round is more complex and therefore more intelligent.

Right - more ornate, curvier, taller, is more attractive

Left - upward angles = happier

Top - because the bottom one tried to fuck jeremy b's wife.

No, Top, because angles are simpler, more plainspoken than those cityslicker curves.
posted by jfrancis at 10:20 PM on August 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Here is some perceptual rationalizing after the fact that goes back and changes the memory

The Color Phi Phenomenon
posted by jfrancis at 10:25 PM on August 4, 2009


Right, Left, Left, Top
I must be really messed up.
posted by nightchrome at 10:46 PM on August 4, 2009


Left, right, right, and after much long internal debate, bottom.


You see, I'm convinced the top critter wouldn't lie to me, but that's because it's a robot and cannot lie. It isn't *honest*, though, because it makes no choice in the matter.

The bottom curvy organic creature, well, it might lie to me, but when it tells the truth, it is honest by choice.

Such rationalization. Sorry, jeremy b, about the wife.
posted by nat at 11:07 PM on August 4, 2009


i'm with pwally on this one. neither neither neither and neither.

they are just designs.

not possible to attribute intelligence or honesty without further data. beep.
posted by lapolla at 11:16 PM on August 4, 2009


left, left, left, bottom, from an unambiguous righty with a left-handed parent.

Same, except both my parents are left-handed.

Does it make a difference that I broke my right shoulder nearly two months ago and have been doing most things left-handed until just recently? I wouldn't think my brain would alter much in that little time, but then again I've become pretty used to mousing left-handed...
posted by rifflesby at 11:17 PM on August 4, 2009


Left - I can imagine him sniffing everything around him with fresh-faced interest.

Right - The guy on the left looks like an obsessive-compulsive prick. But her -- I bet she's awesome.

Left - Eh, they both like they're faking it though.

Top - The bottom one's just drawn a little too slick to be honest.

And I'm right-handed.
posted by twins named Lugubrious and Salubrious at 11:21 PM on August 4, 2009


Left, Right, Left, Bottom.

Left because the one on the right just seems to be joking around not really thinking.

Right because the antennae were all over the place also that curvy mat is just sexy.

Left ...I mean come on it's like a cute scrunched up pig waving its tail! The other guy just wants to shoot something.

Bottom: Because the part at the bottom looked like a stack of papers. I somehow took this to mean honesty.

I'm entirely right-handed and a cynic.
posted by lizarrd at 11:22 PM on August 4, 2009


left right left bottom
posted by lazaruslong at 11:40 PM on August 4, 2009


Left. I think it's much more feminine of a fribble; look her arms, her nose. The right fribble looks much more masculine with it's blocky arms and thick nose.

Are you saying I'm gay for the right fribble?
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:43 PM on August 4, 2009


We all agree on top though, right? Because I wouldn't trust that bottom fribble any further than I could throw him.

Indeed, that bottom fribble is plainly a shifty character.

The right fribble is more intelligent because he has that little tent-shaped hat and doesn't look so much like a vacuum.

The right fribble has a pleasant teapot shape and those nice flower-shaped prongs.

The left fribble does have a perkier look about its snout.

I would have been left handed, but my family trained me out of it when I was young. I have no idea why they did that, but it stuck.
posted by winna at 11:46 PM on August 4, 2009


Left, Left, Left, Bottom. Although top/bottom was somewhat iffy.

I'm a righty, too. Maybe I've been lying to myself all along.

I did note before reading the article that it was odd that I'd chosen all those on the left, though.
posted by vernondalhart at 11:53 PM on August 4, 2009


The correct answer is left, left, left, top.

I'm also a righty.

I am wondering if it's possible that the left choices are actually slightly more aesthetically pleasing and we just have incredibly refined taste.

I wonder what the results would have been had it been random.
posted by empath at 11:55 PM on August 4, 2009


I thought "What is this, a trick?" and closed the tab.

So... Distrustful of online quizzes?
posted by ODiV at 11:58 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Back in college my fool roommate and I dressed up in weird clothing we got from a thrift store, and someone took a picture of us fake fighting. I photoshopped up a fake poster for a fake kung-fu movie (the supposed sequel to a real movie that we found for $1 in a grocery store checkout aisle. Man, it was so terrible). Anyway the point was, in the poster, it looked like I was the All-American Hero, thwarting the Evil Chinese villain in the final dénouement. But when I reversed the photo, suddenly it read as though I was a big dumb American who went over to China to beat up the people who live there for no reason*. IIRC, I identified with the figure on the left (though I am right handed and preferred the fribbles on the right). More than I identified with ... myself!

* Another weird thing about that part is that neither me nor my roommate were even remotely Asian.
posted by aubilenon at 12:21 AM on August 5, 2009


I don't believe all that analysis stuff for a moment, but I'm interested that no one yet has picked (as I did) left, left, right, bottom. (Porpoise came close.) I am left-handed by just about all the measures.

p.s. I would not buy a used car from that top tribble... er, fribble.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:26 AM on August 5, 2009


Left - left - left - top.

Rule 34 on the second one.
posted by sir_rubixalot at 12:31 AM on August 5, 2009


Left, right, right, complete inability to decide. It's funny: I could assign happiness, intelligence, and attractiveness to the fribbles. Animals (and some objects) can have all of those traits; plants can have two of them. However, honesty is something that requires sentience, and so I couldn't assign it.

I'm woefully, hopelessly right handed.
posted by Netzapper at 12:46 AM on August 5, 2009


Right/left/left/bottom here, from a rightie.

It's obvious that the more complex screw-head is smarter than the simple post-head. And the little umbrella handle on the nose is cuter than the straight piece, and a Fribble that has a smile must be happier. The pointy base on the top one is surely a sign of instability and dishonesty. :)

In the third right/left image, though, I overrode an instinct to choose the right-hand one. I had to reason with myself: a smile is happier than a perkier "feather" on the head. I was probably 80% weighted toward the right until I reasoned myself back left again. An instant choice would have gone right.
posted by Malor at 1:36 AM on August 5, 2009


I'm right-handed, but I picked all left and the top one.

- Left is more intelligent because that zig-zaggy thing looks too zany. I can't take a fribble seriously when it does that shit.

- Left is more attractive because the fribble on the right looks too ornate, like someone's grandma wearing a goofy hat. The left fribble looks tidier and not too bombastic, and I like that in a fribble.

- Left is happier because its things are angled upward, kinda like a smile. The right fribble is way too serious.

- Top because something about the angles makes the top one look like it's facing me, whereas the bottom one feels like it has its back to me. I can't trust a fribble that won't look me in the eye.
posted by Nattie at 2:21 AM on August 5, 2009


Left handed people are more likely to randomly chose the thing on the left without any legitimate judgments available. Right handed people, the thing on the right.

They spent money on this study?
posted by jozxyqk at 2:23 AM on August 5, 2009


Why isn't this some sort of poll! I need aggregates damnit!
posted by dearsina at 2:54 AM on August 5, 2009


Left handed people are more likely to randomly chose the thing on the left without any legitimate judgments available. Right handed people, the thing on the right.

They spent money on this study?


I have two responses to your implications:

1) It's an important thing to know for testing purposes. For instance, let's say you're really trying to study racism. You have a test that asks "which of these two men is more trustworthy?" with a Black man and a Melanin-Deficient man one by the other. If you present this to a truly non-racist person, who's making his decision without any other bias, the left-right bias becomes important. It can skew your test results if you're not aware of it.

Furthermore, you seem to think that the important finding was that it happens. It's not.

The important finding, which I don't actually see linked, but is probably in their paper, is that they know exactly how much this bias factors in. They've quantified it.

2) Why is it that so many people, including you, seem to think spending money on science is a waste unless it results in prototypes of flying cars? You (and I, and the scientists) don't have any idea what will or will not be important to technological growth. All sorts of basic research occurs with no other direct impact but that the pool of human knowledge gets a little deeper.

Furthermore, without research into "silly" things, we don't get the nice things. You wanna know the headline for early transistor research? "Scientists discover dirty silicon conducts slightly better than wet paper, much worse than copper."

And you reply, "I could've told you that. They spent money on that?" The popular news headline doesn't tell the whole story, and you're really not qualified to have an opinion on the matter anyway.

I'll tell you what, though. Why don't you go ahead and assume that your tax dollars go to continental missile defense, and that I'm covering your share of basic scientific research.
posted by Netzapper at 3:38 AM on August 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


B A Start
posted by Anything at 4:13 AM on August 5, 2009


deanc - There's a great science fiction short story that runs with this idea, but I can't reference it because the book in which it's contained is in the back of a storage locker right now.

Blindsight, by Peter Watts, is a very dark science fiction book with some thought-provoking things to say about whether our conciousness actually drives our actions or just narrates the journey. It's well worth a read, and available free under creative commons licensing.
posted by metaBugs at 4:19 AM on August 5, 2009


There's a great science fiction short story that runs with this idea, but I can't reference it because the book in which it's contained is in the back of a storage locker right now.
However, Google Books is online, and my google-fu is pretty strong: I was thinking of the story "Second Person, Present Tense" by David Gregory which appears in The Year's Best Science Fiction, Twenty-Third Annual Collection (Google Books, Amazon)
posted by deanc at 4:39 AM on August 5, 2009


I didn't have strong feelings on any of them until I got to "which one looks happier"-- obviously the one on the left. It seems to mimic some cartoon in my memory, possibly a Gary Larson comic. Then as I moved upward, the one on the right looked slightly sexier-- I think because of the streamlined appendages. Once I picked two "rights" I felt nudged in the direction of "right" all the way. I couldn't make myself choose a top or bottom, however.

So for this right-handed person the results were: right, right, right, no choice.

Metafilterians seem to breaking the mold-- is it because we over think a plate of beans every time?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:15 AM on August 5, 2009


Completely disregard what I wrote above. I totally screwed up. I meant to write that my results were Left, Left, Left, No choice.

So even though I chose Left, I reported Right. Hmmm. Just who is in charge here, me or my right hand?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:22 AM on August 5, 2009


Just so's y'all'll know, the questions you're really answering are

left top: warming or cooling
left middle: Biden or Palen
left bottom: meat or vegetables
right: declaw or don't
posted by jfuller at 5:29 AM on August 5, 2009


Oh good. I was raised to think that I was better than everyone else because I'm a lefty. I'll go ahead and take these articles as further evidence.
posted by lunit at 6:29 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a righty that answered left, left, left, no answer, but I am left-eyed (which I'm not sure the study looked at). To test whether you're left- or right- eyed, do the following procedure:

Make a viewing-hole through which you can look at something reasonably far away (the most convenient viewing-hole is made by extending your arms out straight horizontally, poking your thumbs away from their respective hands, and bringing your arms together until the thumbs touch and the index fingers touch, forming a hole between them). Look at something at least 20 feet away through your viewing-hole with both eyes open.

Now, without moving your arms or hands, close one eye, then open it and close the other. It will probably be the case that the object was still fully visible when viewed with one eye, but will be at least partially blocked by your hands when viewed with your other eye. The eye for which the object was fully visible is your dominant eye- often but not always the same side as your dominant hand.
posted by Jpfed at 6:31 AM on August 5, 2009


Left, Right, Left, Bottom

Bottom specifically because the Top looked too industrial/corporate/neat and that's not trustworthy at all.
posted by threeturtles at 6:39 AM on August 5, 2009


In the third right/left image, though, I overrode an instinct to choose the right-hand one.

Me, too, and I'm a righty. My first instinct was the right one, but I reasoned that the left one was really happier because of the curve.

Perhaps intelligence rests in the ability to resist your intinctive impulse?
posted by threeturtles at 6:42 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Huh. I'm right-handed and left-eyed, and I didn't even notice that I chose all the same side.

Left ("it seems more cohesive and aggressive")
Left ("more smoothly curved and unified shapes")
Left ("more things curving up, like a smile or the cocked ears and tail of a happy dog")

So it's true. Woman IS a rationalizing animal.
posted by maudlin at 6:54 AM on August 5, 2009


I preferred the ones with stars on their bellies.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:58 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Netzapper: in general, I agree. There's no way this study cost much money, and in general, any research can be made to look stupid by a journalist. I'm just waiting for some republican politician to find out that my research group studies crab stomachs.

I'm not sure if I like this particular study though. Here the students were presented with stimuli that do not have a strong emotional resonance (I'm with the "neither, neither, neither, neither" crowd and found this bewildering). Then for analysis purposes, it was pretended that nevertheless they were making binary "goodness" judgments, rather than just choosing more or less randomly. The results are troublesome too. The effects are pretty small, and in typical psychic-phenomena fashion, the smaller the sample size, the bigger the results (the smaller population of lefties were uniformly more "biased" than righties, at 65% vs 54%). The drawing experiment had stronger results, but there's a much bigger involvement of the mechanics of drawing in handedness. They may have just chosen to draw the "bad" animal first, and started on the non-dominant side.

Also, any study with binary choices had already better be randomizing left vs. right, or else the scientists involved should be punched in the nose.
posted by Humanzee at 7:18 AM on August 5, 2009


right left left bottom (only if forced to choose, otherwise it's neitherx4). righty.

Also I can never do those inherent-bias tests because I'm pretty much L/R dyslexic so I can't remember even for five seconds, which side is the "good" side and which side is the "bad" side. They push some very broken button in my brain that rarely gets a lot of exercise.
posted by jessamyn at 7:44 AM on August 5, 2009


Oh yeah and I'm also left eyed.
posted by jessamyn at 7:44 AM on August 5, 2009


IIRC, I identified with the figure on the left (though I am right handed and preferred the fribbles on the right). More than I identified with ... myself!


aubilenon - did you play a lot of side scrolling video games?
posted by taliaferro at 8:05 AM on August 5, 2009


Basically the test gave me anxiety for all of them except the attractive one, because I don't know how to apply those other concepts to arrangements of shapes.
posted by Kwine at 8:38 AM on August 5, 2009


I am just so glad that this test didn't end up trying to tell me that I'm racist that I'm not even worried about how fribbleist I am.
posted by redsparkler at 8:47 AM on August 5, 2009


Yeah, the answer to "which is more attractive" is clearly left, and I'm right-handed with no history of left-handed parents or siblings. The others just gave me test anxiety.
posted by muddgirl at 9:36 AM on August 5, 2009


right, left, left, top, and still saddened by the state of science reporting.
posted by moss at 10:17 AM on August 5, 2009


I get nothing.

I get nothing.

One on the left, obviously, because the upward curves suggest smiling.

I get nothing.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:19 AM on August 5, 2009


Left, left, left, bottom. Right-hander with right handed parents here. Suck it, science.
posted by sveskemus at 10:24 AM on August 5, 2009


I'm left leaning towards ambi, and I picked left, left, left, top. My kids, who are both right-handed, did the same.
posted by misha at 10:54 AM on August 5, 2009


I'm a right-hander with left-left-left-bottom choices too. My pops is a lefty, but I don't think that explains it.

Keep in mind that mefites are prone to overthinking plates of beans, and our sampling may be kind of an outlier.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:54 AM on August 5, 2009


there are a number of studies showing that we begin movements prior to "deciding" to

If you're referring to the famous Libet experiment, the study is seriously flawed, as John Searle explains in his book Rationality in Action.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:09 AM on August 5, 2009


I should add: I've seen other studies that seem to essentially repeat the Libet experiment. Searle's critique refutes those studies as well.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:10 AM on August 5, 2009


Right, right, left, bottom. I'm right, w/no idea about parents handedness (adoptee).

I find it fascinating that so many are able to, as apply these human attributes to odd figures. In my own case, I just feel for the idea while viewing, then analyse the details (plate of beans, indeed).

Intelligence: The left is a mechanical device, a meat grinder. The right is clearly a portable light show. duh.

Attractiveness: The right appears 'receptive', with up-turned cups and extended flower/antennae. The left looks like a church lady.

Happier: I smell test frame. The left is so obvious, it's dancing! The right appears constipated.

Honesty: Originally, I viewed these images rather different. I found them more abstract. I didn't like the bent appendage on the top, so chose bottom. However, having viewed them further, I see two things: I don't like the 'legs' on the bottom, (the figures became abstract people, jumping hurdles) and, there is a line drawn to point from the text to the object. This creates a heightened sense of positive motion to the bottom figure, if the line is seen as part of the drawing.
posted by Goofyy at 12:10 PM on August 5, 2009


left left left top. And I'm right handed.

Me too.
posted by Chuffy at 12:23 PM on August 5, 2009


I predict: all right-handers will be "left eye dominant" by the test proposed above, and vice-versa.

Our brain hemispheres control the opposite sides of our bodies, but the optic nerves go direct to their side of the brain with no crossover. So, like, duh.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:40 PM on August 5, 2009


Another, less certain, prediction: if you try the eye dominance test by using one hand, making a little "OK" gesture and using that as your peephole for the object, you will...

1) first try it with your dominant hand, and will easily be able to decide when the hole is correctly positioned.

2) when trying to do it with your non-dominant hand, will have a much harder time deciding when the image is good... and you will get a little bit of dissonance, realizing that actually you cannot properly line up the hole for both eyes to see... but, if you do eventually settle on an acceptable position, it will again favour your dominant eye (the opposite eye to your handedness).
posted by Meatbomb at 12:47 PM on August 5, 2009


Meatbomb: you're clearly not a target shooter.

The vast majority of right-handed people are right-eye dominant. I am. Most shooters I've talked to are (shooters being the only people who routinely know their eye dominance). The lefty shooters I know are mostly left-eye dominant, although there are more cross-dominant lefties than righties. Shooters who are cross-dominant have to go through incredible contortions to shoot well; archers who are cross dominant often shoot with their off hand in order to sight correctly. They make scope/sight offsets for cross-dominant people that move the sight over in front of the correct eye. These are not standard equipment.

So, uh, I think you're totally and completely wrong.

Also, your secondary hypothesis (non-dominant hand) is untrue for me at least. It took me an identical amount of time. And the double-image and dissonance happens for both hands.

[But then I've been aware of parallax since I was in first grade and they tried to get us to determine our eye dominance. I had no idea what they were talking about ("Put the OK sign around the clock on the wall."), since there were obviously two of them.]
posted by Netzapper at 1:07 PM on August 5, 2009


Interesting, Netzapper, and I defer to your expertise. After all the 4 people physically present with me were opposite hand / eye dominant, I thought I was onto something. What a fluke.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:32 PM on August 5, 2009


Right/left/left/bottom here, from a rightie.

Ditto. What's the test again?
posted by mrgrimm at 3:37 PM on August 5, 2009


Yeah, I'm right-handed and right-eye dominant too.
posted by Kattullus at 6:36 PM on August 5, 2009


Right (It looked a bit like a train, rather than a floating blobby thing), left (the curvy water spout was cute), left (the one on the right looked depressed), up (the angles looked less pretentious). I'm right handed, and I prefer to be right side up.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:03 PM on August 5, 2009


Normally this is the kind of idea I'd buy into, but like a bunch of other posters upthread, I had some pretty good reasons for picking the fribbles that I did which are possible to explain. This thing needs a better test.
posted by tehloki at 7:23 PM on August 5, 2009


Left, left, left and top. I'm right-handed for writing, left-handed for shooting/sports, ambidextrous for everything else. Also left eye dominant. Maternal grandfather was a lefty as were two of his children, neither of which is (are?) my mother. No idea of left-ism on the paternal side of the family.
posted by deborah at 7:28 PM on August 5, 2009


I'm right handed with right handed parents. I chose left, left, left and top.

Note that I couldn't figure out how to apply those descriptions in any kind of meaningful way to the little figures since they don't have faces or anything. So I just sort of picked the cutest looking ones.
posted by howrobotsaremade at 7:42 PM on August 5, 2009


I chose RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT and TOP. And I'm right handed with right handed parents.

Maybe spending 8 yrs on a neuroscience Ph.D. just made me a better test subject.
posted by NikitaNikita at 7:18 AM on August 6, 2009


I chose left left left and ZALGO.

Does that mea-- *sprouts tentacles*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:27 AM on August 6, 2009


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