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Try these tests at home


Which eye do you use most?


Take a piece of A4 paper and rip a coin-sized hole in the centre. Hold this paper at arms length and look through the hole to focus on an object across the room. Now slowly bring the paper towards your face, never taking your eye off the object. Stop when the paper touches your nose. Which eye are you using?
A subject finds out which of his eyes is dominant
A subject finds out which of his eyes is dominant


Repeat several times and find out if you always use the same eye.


Which hand do you use most?


When these experiments were run in Explore, the willing participants knew only that the experiment was about how they used their hands. They didn't know it was which hand that was being observed. If you do these tests at home, be as natural as possible and try not to think about what you are doing. Record the results as you go along.


Try each of the following tasks three times, putting the object back onto a surface in between goes


Unscrew the lid of a jar - which hand is doing the twisting?

Thread a needle - which hand does the threading?

Sharpen a pencil - which hand turns the pencil?

Pick up small objects - eg a paper clip, pin, needle or crumb. Which hand do you use?

Squeeze a tennis ball with each hand. Which hand is strongest?

Throw 18 tennis balls into a bucket from a distance of 2 metres. Alternate your left and right hand, doing 3 throws with your left hand, 3 with your right etc. Record how many balls went in and see if it varies a lot between hands.


Your results


If your hand-use alternated and you were equally good at throwing the ball with both hands, then you are likely to be mixed-handed.


If you always used your right hand and were pretty hopeless throwing balls with your left, then you are predominantly right-handed rather than mixed.


Likewise, if you always choose to use your left hand and couldn't throw balls with your right, you are predominantly left-handed rather than mixed.