Good for Use

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There is an interesting study I just read about today: A glove on your hand can change your mind. In language, “right” is good and “left” is often bad (just look at the French word for “left”, gauche, or the Spanish word for left hand, siniestra, a cognate of sinister). It turns out, that really is related to our handedness. Studies show that left-handers, “left” is good. From the article:

In experiments by psychologist Daniel Casasanto, when people were asked which of two products to buy, which of two job applicants to hire, or which of two alien creatures looks more intelligent, right-handers tended to choose the product, person, or creature they saw on their right, but most left-handers chose the one on their left.

Admittedly, it is a subtle effect, but it is there nonetheless.

But here is the cool part: right-handers’ reactions could be changed by temporarily changing them into lefties. They did so merely by having the right-handers put on a rather awkward ski glove on their right hand for about 12 minutes. At that point the subjects started showing a preference for “left is good.”

How is this related to barefooting? There is no study extending this work to feet, but somehow I just want to think that maybe putting shoes on feet (much more awkward then even a ski glove) can also influence how one perceives good and bad in the world. Maybe that can account for the totally unreasonable reaction that bare feet often seem to elicit.

I guess we ought to call it shoddy thinking.

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