78. Right or Left: The Deep Roots of Human Preferences

Olivier Fontana of Microsoft Corporation, whose email about fast talking you read in Chapter 51, “Fast Talking,” also wrote about how right and left preferences affect presentations. His email was prompted by a Newsweek article that reported on a scientific study of personal preferences driven by handedness:

[P]eople with different physical characteristics, such as being right- or left-handed, form different abstract concepts, corresponding to those physical traits. For southpaws, the left side of any space has positive moral, intellectual, and emotional connotations; for righties, the right side does.F78.1

We live in a right-dominant world. Estimates of the right-handed majority range from ...

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