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Childrens' left-turning preference is not modulated by magical ideation


Streuli, J C; Obrist, G; Brugger, P (2017). Childrens' left-turning preference is not modulated by magical ideation. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain & Cognition, 22(1):90-104.

Abstract

The literature on human turning preferences is inconsistent. While the few studies with children below 14 years of age uniformly describe an overall left-turning (counterclockwise) tendency, a recent Internet study with more than 1500 adults found a right-sided (clockwise) bias. We set out to investigate spontaneous turning behaviour in children age 5-3 years and, based on neuropsychiatric work in adults, also explored a potential association with magical thinking. Findings indicated a clear left-turning preference, independent of a participant's sex and handedness. Whether a child responded a question about the existence of extrasensory communication in the affirmative or not was unrelated to direction and size of turning bias and lateral preference. Our results are consistent with a left-sided turning preference reported for children, but in opposition to the clockwise bias recently described in a large-scale study with adults. Whether they point to a maturational gradient in the preferred direction of spontaneous whole-body rotation or rather to a lack of comparability between measures used in observational versus Internet-based studies remains to be further investigated. Regarding a purported association between body turns and magical thinking, our study is preliminary, as only one single question was used to probe the latter.

Abstract

The literature on human turning preferences is inconsistent. While the few studies with children below 14 years of age uniformly describe an overall left-turning (counterclockwise) tendency, a recent Internet study with more than 1500 adults found a right-sided (clockwise) bias. We set out to investigate spontaneous turning behaviour in children age 5-3 years and, based on neuropsychiatric work in adults, also explored a potential association with magical thinking. Findings indicated a clear left-turning preference, independent of a participant's sex and handedness. Whether a child responded a question about the existence of extrasensory communication in the affirmative or not was unrelated to direction and size of turning bias and lateral preference. Our results are consistent with a left-sided turning preference reported for children, but in opposition to the clockwise bias recently described in a large-scale study with adults. Whether they point to a maturational gradient in the preferred direction of spontaneous whole-body rotation or rather to a lack of comparability between measures used in observational versus Internet-based studies remains to be further investigated. Regarding a purported association between body turns and magical thinking, our study is preliminary, as only one single question was used to probe the latter.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:24 May 2017
Deposited On:29 Dec 2016 07:19
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 07:25
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1357-650X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/1357650X.2015.1134565
PubMed ID:27221655

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