Would you believe it if someone told you that your attitude towards people and things might be affected by which keys you use to type out their names? A new study suggests it’s true.
People have a friendlier, more positive feeling towards people, brands, things, and even words if the words and names are typed using mostly right-side keyboard keys.
The study by cognitive researchers K. Jasmin and D. Casasanto looked into how use of each side of a keyboard, left or right, affects the way people feel about different words, people, and things.
For instance, if your name is typed using mostly left-hand keys, then people are more likely to have an unconsciously negative bias towards you. On the other hand, if your name (take “John” for instance) can be typed out using mostly right-hand key strokes, then people will be more positively influenced. The study showed that this subliminal disposition applies whether a person is typing a name, writing something about a specific subject, or simply typing out a word.
In this research study, the participants were asked to evaluate how they felt about random English, Dutch, and Spanish words. Language was not the defining factor for their evaluations, because none of the participants knew all three languages. Instead, the focus was on which keyboard side the letters that made up that word fell on. But why is this such a significant factor?
The researchers pointed out that the left hand’s job is more intense and possibly stressful, because it is in charge of 15 letters as opposed to only 11 for the right hand. This makes it easier for your right hand to write words that mostly use right-side keyboard letters, because the workload is lighter.
Are we really more efficient with right-hand keyboard typing?
No matter where letters are placed on a keyboard, when typists know the right typing technique and have worked on their typing accuracy, then they can easily and effectively type any word, no matter the location of its constituent letters.
Essentially, for a skilled typist, there’s no stress on either hand, and so there’s no “right type” of words, or words that have fewer negative feelings. Proficient typists can type equally well with both of their hands, irrespective of their hand preference and the letter location.
Of course, during the first few sessions of typing practice you might find that you have better control and finger agility in your dominant hand, but through rigorous practice both your hands will be able to accurately and effectively type any word correctly and quickly. In this way, no matter what side of the keyboard you use to type a word, it won’t affect your feelings toward it, either way you’ll find it’s an effortless activity!
In other words, keyboarding is better thought of as a skill you develop from scratch, and one where hand dominance doesn’t really affect your overall keyboarding efficiency.
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