Why left-handed people are more easily frightened than those who are right-handedBy Daniel Bates
Created 1:52 PM on 2nd May 2011
Left-handed people get more scared than those who are right-handed, psychologists have concluded.
Lefties who watched an eight-minute clip of horror film The Silence of the Lambs showed more symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder than right-handers.
When asked to recall details of the film, the left-handed test subjects gave more disjointed accounts, a symptom of PTSD.
Left-handed people have endured centuries of stigma and folklore that says they are evil or bad luck.
And previous studies have also shown they are more likely to be angry and prone to negative emotions.
The new research was led by Dr Carolyn Choudhary of Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.
‘The prevalence of post traumatic stress disorder is almost double in left-handers compared to right-handers,’ she said.
‘We used a portion of film from The Silence of the Lambs that we know elicits fear, so we could check the recalled account against the film.
'It seems that after experiencing a fearful event, even on film, people who are left-handed had subtle behaviours that were like people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.’
Dr Choudhary, who will present her findings at the annual conference of the British Psychology Society, added: ‘The mistakes they made were subtle errors in verbal recall.
‘It appears these are tied to the way the brain makes memories during fearful experiences.
‘It is apparent the two sides of the brain have different roles in PTSD and the right-hand side of the brain seems to be involved in fear.
‘In people who are left-handed, the right-hand side of their brain is dominant, so it may have something to do with that.
‘We need to do more experiments to understand what exactly is going on here.’
The myths include the idea that getting out of bed with the left foot first means that you will have a bad day and be bad-tempered.
It is thought we can only see ghosts if we look over our left shoulder, the same side the Devil watches over us.