Pause before you respond: handedness influences response style on the Tower of Hanoi task

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Abstract

Comparative laterality research has indicated that marmoset monkeys with a right-hand preference take less time to respond to novel objects within a novel environment (Cameron & Rogers, 1999). This suggests that right hemisphere dominance may be associated with a more cautious cognitive style in novel situations. The present study tested this hypothesis using right- and left-handed human participants to complete a three-disk Tower of Hanoi (TOH) task. It was hypothesised that left-handers would be slower to initiate responding. A total of 84 participants (42 left-handers, 42 right-handers) took part and the time taken to make the first move, completion time, and the number of moves taken to complete the task were recorded. Analysis of Variance revealed a significant main effect of handedness, with left-handers taking longer to move the first disk and significantly fewer moves to complete the task. However, left-handers were not significantly faster at completing the TOH, although males completed the task more quickly than females. These initial findings support the hypothesis that left-hand dominance is associated with a more cautious cognitive style in novel problem-solving situations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-147
Number of pages15
JournalLaterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

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title = "Pause before you respond: handedness influences response style on the Tower of Hanoi task",
abstract = "Comparative laterality research has indicated that marmoset monkeys with a right-hand preference take less time to respond to novel objects within a novel environment (Cameron & Rogers, 1999). This suggests that right hemisphere dominance may be associated with a more cautious cognitive style in novel situations. The present study tested this hypothesis using right- and left-handed human participants to complete a three-disk Tower of Hanoi (TOH) task. It was hypothesised that left-handers would be slower to initiate responding. A total of 84 participants (42 left-handers, 42 right-handers) took part and the time taken to make the first move, completion time, and the number of moves taken to complete the task were recorded. Analysis of Variance revealed a significant main effect of handedness, with left-handers taking longer to move the first disk and significantly fewer moves to complete the task. However, left-handers were not significantly faster at completing the TOH, although males completed the task more quickly than females. These initial findings support the hypothesis that left-hand dominance is associated with a more cautious cognitive style in novel problem-solving situations.",
author = "Lynn Wright and Hardie, {Scott M.} and Paul Rodway",
year = "2004",
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journal = "Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition",
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AU - Wright,Lynn

AU - Hardie,Scott M.

AU - Rodway,Paul

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N2 - Comparative laterality research has indicated that marmoset monkeys with a right-hand preference take less time to respond to novel objects within a novel environment (Cameron & Rogers, 1999). This suggests that right hemisphere dominance may be associated with a more cautious cognitive style in novel situations. The present study tested this hypothesis using right- and left-handed human participants to complete a three-disk Tower of Hanoi (TOH) task. It was hypothesised that left-handers would be slower to initiate responding. A total of 84 participants (42 left-handers, 42 right-handers) took part and the time taken to make the first move, completion time, and the number of moves taken to complete the task were recorded. Analysis of Variance revealed a significant main effect of handedness, with left-handers taking longer to move the first disk and significantly fewer moves to complete the task. However, left-handers were not significantly faster at completing the TOH, although males completed the task more quickly than females. These initial findings support the hypothesis that left-hand dominance is associated with a more cautious cognitive style in novel problem-solving situations.

AB - Comparative laterality research has indicated that marmoset monkeys with a right-hand preference take less time to respond to novel objects within a novel environment (Cameron & Rogers, 1999). This suggests that right hemisphere dominance may be associated with a more cautious cognitive style in novel situations. The present study tested this hypothesis using right- and left-handed human participants to complete a three-disk Tower of Hanoi (TOH) task. It was hypothesised that left-handers would be slower to initiate responding. A total of 84 participants (42 left-handers, 42 right-handers) took part and the time taken to make the first move, completion time, and the number of moves taken to complete the task were recorded. Analysis of Variance revealed a significant main effect of handedness, with left-handers taking longer to move the first disk and significantly fewer moves to complete the task. However, left-handers were not significantly faster at completing the TOH, although males completed the task more quickly than females. These initial findings support the hypothesis that left-hand dominance is associated with a more cautious cognitive style in novel problem-solving situations.

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DO - 10.1080/13576500244000265

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