Searching for cultural influences on the body-specific association of preferred hand and emotional valence


Prior research has shown that right-handers tend to associate the right side of space with positive ideas and the left side of space with negative ideas, but left-handers associate right with negative and left with positive. No effect of the standard cultural association of right with good was found superimposed on this pattern. Can cultural conventions modulate this body-specific association? Here we compared Spanish and Arab cultures, which differ in the pressure against the left and in favour of the right. In spite of clear indications that cultural pressure against the left is stronger in Arab than Spanish culture, we observed no traces of an increased tendency to associate right with good in Arab righties. So far, there is no evidence for an effect of cultural conventions on the strength of body-specific conceptual associations.

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