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Handedness differences in writing speed and theme length and evaluation Kelly, Ruth Elizabeth 1961

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HANDEDNESS DIFFERENCES IN WRITING SPEED AND THEME LENGTH AND EVALUATION by RUTH ELIZABETH KELLY B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of Saskatchewan, 1937 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE. DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Psychology We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1961 In presenting t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree th a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission. Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver $, Canada. HANDEDNESS DIFFERENCES IN WRITING SPEED • AND THEME LENGTH AND EVALUATION ABSTRACT A l l the evidence contained i n the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of 722 j u n i o r high school students points to the f a c t that there i s no connection between the speed of w r i t i n g and handedness; between the amount of written material produced i n 5-minute themes and handedness; and between the e f f e c t s of w r i t i n g on subjective evaluations of 5-niinute written themes and handedness. The f i g u r e s show that the incidence of handicap i n w r i t i n g i s approximately the same f o r both r i g h t - and left-handed groups. ACKNOWLEDGHENT The writer wishes to thank her advisers, Dr. D. C. Eraser and Dr. W. H. Read, f o r t h e i r time and e f f o r t i n helping her organize t h i s t h e s i s . She i s g r a t e f u l to the seven hundred and twenty-two jun i o r high school students who acted as subjects f o r the study, and to those members of the Vancouver school system responsible f o r making the subjects a v a i l a b l e : Dr. R. F. Sharp, Superintendent of Schools; Dr. D. B. MacKenzie, Assistant Superintendent of Schools; Dr. S. A. M i l l e r , D i r e c t o r of the Department of Research and Sp e c i a l Services; the p r i n c i p a l s of f i v e high schools: Mr. L. E. Meadows (Lord Byng), Mr. A. Webster ( K i l l a r n e y ) , Mr. V. A. Wiedrick ( K i l s i l a n o ) , Mr. K. A. Waites (Templeton), Mr. A. W. Hyndman (David Thompson); and the V i c e - P r i n c i p a l i n charge of the junior d i v i s i o n at Lord Byng, Mr. G. H a r r i s . S p e c i a l thanks are extended to the four theme markers: Mrs. H. A. Berry, Mrs. J. Eox, Mrs. A. W. McGhie and Mr. W. D. M. Sage. TABLE OE CONTENTS Section Page Introduction i I The Problem 1 II Review of the L i t e r a t u r e 2 III Method 14 1. Subjects and bases of matching p a i r s . 14 2. The tasks 15 3 • Treatment of data 16 a. Speed t e s t 16 b. P r o d u c t i v i t y 17 c. Subjective evaluation of written and typed themes 18 IV Results 20 1. Speed t e s t 20 2. P r o d u c t i v i t y 22 3« Subjective evaluation of written and typed themes 22 V Discussion and Conclusions 25 VI Summary . . 28 References 29 LIST OF TABLES Number Page 1 Speed Scores 21 2 Judgments on Typed and Written Themes . . . . 23 INTRODUCTION Tools and p o s i t i o n s intended f o r the convenience of right-handed persons impose adjustment problems upon the left-handed i n d i v i d u a l who does not choose to change h i s hand. Weapons and machines i n heavy industry with controls intended f o r right-handed use o f f e r the greatest p h y s i c a l hazard to the left-handed person. In emergency, he may forget to apply the c a r e f u l l y learned routines with h i s non-preferred hand and s t r e t c h h i s master hand across the weapon or machine to operate the co n t r o l s . His safety l i m i t s are thereby s e r i o u s l y lowered. In manual s k i l l s i n v o l v i n g innocuous t o o l s , the left-handed person's adjustment problems are l e s s c r u c i a l . In s t r i v i n g f o r competence he need only f i n d t o o l s designed f o r h i s use and suitable p o s i t i o n s f o r himself and the material he i s working on. In fencing and i n baseball he i s at a p o s i t i o n a l advantage over h i s right-handed opponent, who i s used to defending himself against persons using the. r i g h t hand. In go l f , he need only have clubs manufactured f o r left-handed use to compete with the right-handed person on a basis of eq u a l i t y . Tools and equipment designed f o r left-handed use are i n increasing supply. The most serious manual problem i of the left-handed person i s correspondingly tending to disappear. Now that the s t r a i g h t pen and the fountain pen have "been l a r g e l y replaced by the non-directional b a l l - p o i n t pen, the left-handed writer need not have a w r i t i n g t o o l problem. With proper i n s t r u c t i o n i n the placement of h i s notebook i n reverse p o s i t i o n to that of the right-handed writer, and i n the placement of h i s arm i n a p o s i t i o n p a r a l l e l to the centre l i n e of h i s notebook, he need be at no p o s i t i o n a l disadvantage i n w r i t i n g . The d i r e c t i o n of the s c r i p t i s the only aspect of the w r i t i n g environment that i s not subject to change f o r the convenience of the left-handed w r i t e r . The d i r e c t i o n of the s c r i p t i n our culture imposes upon the left-handed writer operating with reverse arm and page p o s i t i o n the necessity of w r i t i n g towards h i s body rather than away from i t , a natural tendency to a back-handed slant i n h i s w r i t i n g , or a r e v e r s a l i n pressures on the up-strokes and down-strokes of the l e t t e r s . Lacking or ignoring previous p o s i t i o n a l i n s t r u c t i o n , or s t r i v i n g f o r the usual s l a n t , or avoiding hand shadow, the left-handed w r i t e r may develop i d i o s y n c r a c i e s i n p o s i t i o n that cut down on the speed and q u a l i t y of h i s w r i t i n g . This study ignores the i d i o s y n c r a c i e s of l e f t -handed writers and focusses upon the effectiveness of t h e i r w r i t i n g e f f o r t s i n comparison with matched right-handed w r i t e r s . SECTION I THE PROBLEM This study concerns i t s e l f with a comparison of performance by r i g h t - and. left-handed subjects i n hand-wr i t i n g , with reference to speed, p r o d u c t i v i t y , and marks obtained i n s u b j e c t i v e l y evaluated handwritten themes. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the hypotheses are as follows: 1. Handedness a f f e c t s the speed of w r i t i n g . 2. Handedness a f f e c t s the production of words i n essay-type themes. 3. Handwriting a f f e c t s subjective evaluations of the written themes of a. right-handed subjects. b. left-handed subjects. The r a t i o n a l e of the study r e s t s on the assumption that left-handers are a handicapped group. This study attempts to i s o l a t e s p e c i f i c aspects of disadvantage to the left-hander when using w r i t i n g as a means of communication i n examination-like circumstances. .SECTION II REVIEW OE THE LITERATURE The causes of left-handedness have long "been of i n t e r e s t . Argument continues as to whether i t i s i n h e r i t e d , acquired or a combination of both. In keeping with the genetic bias of the era, studies made e a r l y i n the century (Parsons, 1924) tend to support heredity as the primary cause of left-handedness. Later theories have stressed f u n c t i o n a l f a c t o r s . Blau (1946) sees left-handedness as a symptom of i n f a n t i l e psychoneurosis, a d e v i a t i o n from a c u l t u r a l l y determined l a t e r a l i t y . A single i l l u s t r a t i o n (Wheeler, I960) that appears to lend support to the theory of n e g a t a v i s t i c response to f r u s t r a t i o n has been supplied by a four-year-old c h i l d whose handedness changed during h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n a f t e r an emergency tracheotomy operation. Hewes (1948) considers that there i s a f a i r l y sound genetic foundation f o r handedness. As evidence f o r considering "beyond any reasonable doubt the existence of an anatomical basis f o r f u n c t i o n a l handedness" he reports on a study i n dermatoglyphics (Cromwell and R i f e i n Hewes, 1948), i n which was found s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n of f i n g e r - and hand-print pattern with l a t e r a l i t y . He points out, however, 3 that t h i s study does not answer the problem of the p r i o r i t y of handedness over hemisphere l a t e r a l i t y . In a f u r t h e r study on dermatoglyphics and mirror imaging, Rife and Cummins (194-3) found that i d e n t i c a l twinning does not seem to be, as formerly believed, a f a c t o r i n handedness. Mirror imaging i n dermatoglyphics occurred no more frequently i n monozygotic twins than i n random p a i r s of unrelated i n d i v i d u a l s , s i b l i n g s , or f r a t e r n a l twins. Baker (194-5) points out that " l a t e r a l dominance" i s the term now generally used to i n d i c a t e hand preference, but that i t also includes reference to eye, foot and ear preference and general b o d i l y dominance. However, l a t e r a l dominance i s by no means consistent i n a l l i t s aspects within the i n d i v i d u a l . Clark (1957) established a connection between foot and hand preference, between ear and eye, but none between eye and hand. Correlations between various aspects of dominance have frequently been mistaken f o r causal r e l a t i o n s h i p s : Individuals are left-handed because they are right-brained and vice-versa; they are left-handed because they are l e f t - e y e d . Now, even the e a r l i e r assumption that one side of the b r a i n i s dominant i n speech functions, and that side the one c o n t r a - l a t e r a l to the p r e f e r r e d hand, i s questioned as to i t s u n i v e r s a l a p p l i c a t i o n . C e r t a i n l y , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to prove i n view of the lack of studies of left-handed subjects with b r a i n l e s i o n s . Clark (1957) states that: . 4-Recent studies have necessitated a modification of some of the e a r l i e r extreme statements on the subject of b r a i n dominance and speech. Two points on which the e a r l i e r statements have been modified are: f i r s t the statement that the area c o n t r o l l i n g speech i s always on the contra-l a t e r a l side to the preferred hand; and second that the minor hemisphere i s useless or com-p l e t e l y unused i n speech functioning.... I t i s impossible to state whether a given person i s l e f t - or right-brained u n t i l a cerebral l e s i o n occurs, (p. 29) As yet, no diagnostic instrument has been found to measure l a t e r a l dominance ' i n t o t o 1 , and indeed t h i s may be impossible i n view of the asymmetrical nature of dominance. The Van Riper C r i t i c a l Angle Board i s the most popular diagnostic t o o l f o r measuring l a t e r a l i t y but i t s e f f e c t i v e -ness i s i n question. I t would seem (Clark, 1957) that i n t e l l i g e n c e as well as l a t e r a l i t y i s a v a r i a b l e i n the t e s t . Problems remain, then, not only i n e s t a b l i s h i n g the causes of left-handedness, but even i n assessing the very nature of dominance. A l a r g e l y unexplored area i n the e t i o l o g y of handedness i s that of environmental f a c t o r s i n utero. R i f e (1943), ' i n f u r t h e r studies on handedness and dermatoglyphics i n twins, found that circumstances i n utero modify the expression of handedness i n that members of the p a i r d i f f e r , but that twins genotypically strongly r i g h t - or left-handed show no i n t e r p a i r differences i n handedness. The incidence of left-handedness i n i n d i v i d u a l s born i n breech p o s i t i o n has not been investigated. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between p o s i t i o n a l and developmental f a c t o r s of the foetus might be involved i n pr e d i s p o s i t i o n s to l a t e r a l i t y . Any new theory of the causation of handedness i s l i k e l y to involve an i n t e r a c t i n g pattern of influences i n the h o l i s t i c manner. Clark (1957) has one of the l a t e s t statements to make on the subject: The p o s i t i o n may be summed up by saying that genetic studies have revealed that the development of handedness preference has a hereditary b a s i s . . . . Pew would deny, however, that f a c t o r s other than genetic help to determine whether any p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l w i l l be r i g h t - or left-handed.... The environmental variants probably account f o r the slow progress which has been made i n formu-l a t i n g an adequate and s a t i s f a c t o r y theory concerning the actual mechanism of inheritance, (p. 17) Perhaps the hereditary influence w i l l be found to be s o c i a l rather than genetic. The l i t e r a t u r e abounds with speculation and study on the problem of conversion. Those with a genetic and neurological bias have tended to r e s i s t e f f o r t s at changing handedness because of the possible psychological by-products of the change: s t u t t e r i n g and other i n e f f e c t i v e behavior patterns. Blau (194-6) speculates that the dominant hemi-spheric c o n t r o l i s the end product of the hand used, and that change of hand need not r e s u l t i n neurological chaos. Garrison (1950) supports t h i s view: A r e v e r s a l i n handedness i n w r i t i n g seldom r e s u l t s i n s t u t t e r i n g . . . . In the schools of E l i z a b e t h , New Jersey, a campaign to "cure" left-handedness was i n s t i t u t e d . In the course of four years, left-handedness was reduced from 250 cases to 66 cases and not a single case of defective speech, r e s u l t e d . . . . Had these 66 c h i l d r e n been forced to use t h e i r r i g h t hands many would perhaps have shown nervousness.... P e r s i s t e n t l y anta-g o n i s t i c methods used to e f f e c t a change i n handedness may cause various types of disorders when nervous i n s t a b i l i t y i s present, (p. 344) Burt (1954), basing h i s judgment on the New Jersey experiment, f e e l s that consistency i n the r e t r a i n i n g of l e f t handers who know and accept that they must write with t h e i r r i g h t hands may obviate the necessary appearance of nervous symptoms a f t e r a change of the w r i t i n g hand. Writing has borne the brunt of experimentation i n changing handedness, probably because of the strong tendency to conformity i n the school s i t u a t i o n . Inconsistency has been general, however, both as to time and system of i n s t i t u t i n g the change. Sometimes the change i s self-imposed by a c h i l d who no longer wants to be d i f f e r e n t . There are instances of temporary conversion and ultimate reversion, with no f i n a l f e e l i n g of v i c t o r y over the problem. Each left-handed w r i t e r and changed-to-right-handed w r i t e r has a unique w r i t i n g h i s t o r y . Therefore, according to Clark (1957) Comparisons between groups' of left-handers should be regarded with caution, while comparisons between r i g h t - and left-handed groups•as f a r as w r i t i n g i s concerned are a c t u a l l y dangerous. It must be admitted that there i s some t r u t h i n the suggestion that left-handers are bad w r i t e r s . It i s , however, a g e n e r a l i z a t i o n with only a c e r t a i n amount of t r u t h i n i t , and f o r that reason a l l the more dangerous, since frequently wrong conclusions are drawn from i t . By no means a l l left-handers are bad w r i t e r s . . . . The majority of those w r i t i n g with the l e f t hand produce w r i t i n g which i s e i t h e r neat or speedy, but seldom both; t h i s i s admittedly a f a i l i n g not confined to them. They do, however, s u f f e r more from fatigue than those using the r i g h t hand. (p. 8, 7 The fatigue f a c t o r doubtless a r i s e s , not alone from f a u l t y or inadequate teaching, but also from the d i r e c t i o n of the s c r i p t i n our c u l t u r e . Mirror w r i t i n g i s the only complete equivalent of right-handed w r i t i n g techniques. Outside the diary i t i s an i m p r a c t i c a l adaptation. P l a c i n g the page i n the exact opposite p o s i t i o n to that of the i d e a l placement f o r the right-hander i s the next best s o l u t i o n , using a back-handed slant that allows free arm movement, with the arm p a r a l l e l to the page. In t h i s way, the l e f t hander can avoid hooks, shadows and excessive f a t i g u e . He s t i l l , however, has to write towards the body, rather than away from i t . While w r i t i n g systems of the world vary as to d i r e c t i o n , l e f t to r i g h t , r i g h t to l e f t or a l t e r n a t i n g ; or up and down on the page; the one we are concerned with uses the l e f t to r i g h t d i r e c t i o n i n such a way as to be most convenient f o r the right-handed person, and to allow him to express h i s ideas i n symbols e a s i l y perceived by the reader. S c r i p t i t s e l f imposes no p a r t i c u l a r o r i e n t a t i o n . We can be taught to read from various angles. Arabs have been taught to read the Koran, because i t i s i n such short supply, from a l l four sides. What we would c a l l mirror w r i t i n g i s used i n Arabic and i n Hebrew. Do left-handers f i n d these languages easier.to read and write than right-handers? Does the plane of the eye a f f e c t reading and w r i t i n g p r o f i c i e n c y ? Japanese p i l o t s have been reported (Hewes, 194-9) "to have had d i f f i c u l t y i n spotting danger from the sides. Perhaps l e f t - e y e d persons perceive d i f f e r e n t l y from right-eyed persons. 8 Analyses of protocols of such p r o j e c t i v e t e s t s as the Rorschach, f o r example i n the use of white space, might throw l i g h t on these questions of d i f f e r e n t i a l perception on the basis of l a t e r a l i t y . However, we may assume (Hewes, 1949) that a l l cultures have been dominated by people who are d e x t r a l i n t h e i r manual and probably t h e i r v i s u a l s k i l l s , i n c l u d i n g those cultures where w r i t i n g i s i n use. I f the left-hander i s not taught to use h i s r i g h t hand i n w r i t i n g , he c l e a r l y should be taught how to use h i s l e f t hand most e f f e c t i v e l y . Garrison (1950), acknowledging indebtedness to H i l d r e t h (1957* 194-7) makes the f o l l o w i n g suggestions: 1. The page should be slanted so as to form an angle of 35 degrees, or as much as 45 degrees, with the desk. The paper and arm should be at about the same s l a n t . 2. An exaggerated downward slant of the top l i n e of the paper should be permitted, so as to f u r n i s h the c h i l d with increased v i s i b i l i t y . The c h i l d should not be required to imitate the p o s i t i o n s and movements of h i s r i g h t -handed neighbors. 3 . In teaching the left-hander, the teacher should vary the method to s u i t the s p e c i a l needs of the c h i l d ; however, any tendency to twist the hand should be corrected at the very beginning. The p r a c t i c e periods should be short f o r the left-hander. 4 . The teacher may f i n d i t desirable to have the c h i l d p r a c t i s e p r i n t - s c r i p t w r i t i n g i n the f i r s t stages. 5 . Large arm movements, rather than f i n g e r movements, should be encouraged during the beginning stage. Blackboard work may be used to good advantage at t h i s time. 6. The entire c h i l d i s involved i n the wr i t i n g act. His emotional needs, h i s maturational l e v e l , h i s educational achievement, and h i s motives are important, (p. 154-) Advice from H i l d r e t h (1936) focusses on w r i t i n g slant and hand p o s i t i o n : The left-handed person should be encouraged to write a back-hand s t y l e . . . . The teacher should encourage normal hand pronation with the f i n g e r s extended towards the top rather than to the bottom of the page. (p. 5^-2) Burt's recommendations (195^-) are oriented towards s k i l f u l r e t r a i n i n g of the left-hander to enable him to use h i s r i g h t hand i n w r i t i n g . The d i r e c t o r of education i n London, Ontario, (Lucas, 1956) himself a left-hander, has been i n t e r e s t e d f o r many years i n the problems of left-handed c h i l d r e n "who l i v e i n school-rooms and i n a world where almost everything i s made f o r and adapted to the needs of the majority". He disapproves of conversion, considering that t h i s i s l i k e l y to r e s u l t i n tension,. resistance and embarrassment. He sees the problem not to be one of changing hands but one of helping c h i l d r e n become graceful left-handers. In h i s recommendations f o r the supervision of left-handed writers he adds to the advice of Garrison and H i l d r e t h i n that he warns teachers against accepting f o r a left-hander any one-armed w r i t i n g c h a i r designed f o r the right-hander. He also makes a p r a c t i c a l suggestion to teachers to help them develop empathy with t h e i r left-handed p u p i l s : Every right-handed teacher should t r y to cut with s c i s s o r s and to write with 10 the l e f t hand i n order to understand her left-handed p u p i l s . I f t h i s were done, he thinks, teachers would no longer require t h e i r left-handed p u p i l s to cut c i r c l e s counter-clockwise, hut would r e a l i z e that clockwise i s the normal procedure f o r left-handers. The Vancouver school system issues two-page brochures on the left-handed writer to primary teachers, emphasizing correct p o s i t i o n i n g of the paper, and warning against conversion. These i n s t r u c t i o n s were f i r s t given to primary teachers i n 1954. In recent years, i n Sweden, England and the United States, i n v e s t i g a t i o n s have been undertaken to measure to comparative speed and q u a l i t y of l e f t - and right-handed w r i t i n g . A three-year study i n Sweden ( T r a n k e l l , 1956) f a i l e d to uncover s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t d i f ferences i n speed and q u a l i t y of l e f t - and right-handed w r i t e r s , but emphasized the influences of conversion on the w r i t i n g : The analyses i n d i c a t e that the left-hander's choice of w r i t i n g hand influences t h e i r w r i t i n g p r o f i c i e n c y . Por the speed of w r i t i n g t h i s influence i s not great enough to be s t a t i s t i c a l l y discernable. As regards the q u a l i t y of the handwriting, however, the left-handers who use the same hand from the beginning of t h e i r school l i f e are found to achieve a higher standard than those left-handers who succeeded i n changing with p r a c t i c e to right-handed w r i t e r s , (p. 101) A study of right-handed answer sheets and l e f t -handed testees conducted by Gordon (1958) r e s u l t e d i n the f i n d i n g of a s i g n i f i c a n t mean at the ,05 l e v e l between marks 11 obtained by l e f t - and right-handed naval r e c r u i t s on a naval c l e r i c a l t e s t . The right-handed i n s e r t answers sheets were considered to be a f a c t o r accounting f o r the d i f f e r e n c e s . An experimental i n v e s t i g a t i o n was undertaken i n the Kingston College C l i n i c , i n England, by Smith and Reed (1957) 0x1 the r e l a t i v e speeds of l e f t - and right-handed w r i t e r s . In t h i s study, 70 p a i r s of c h i l d r e n , from 6 schools, were used as subjects, the right-handers being roughly paired with the left-handers as to school, age, and with the exception of one school, sex. No attempt was made to esta-b l i s h degree of l a t e r a l i t y , h i s t o r y of conversions, or the i n t e l l i g e n c e of the subjects. Where there was a choice of subject, the desired number was taken i n a l p h a b e t i c a l order of surnames. No s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n speed were found e i t h e r f o r the t o t a l of group d i f f e r e n c e s or f o r d i f f e r e n c e s considered school by school. A serious defect of t h i s experiment i s the disregard of the v a r i a b l e of i n t e l l i g e n c e , since the sample i s not large enough to pre-suppose normal d i s t r i b u t i o n . The most recent and comprehensive study of l e f t -handedness i n i t s many r a m i f i c a t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g handwriting, has been made by Clark, who reports (1957) on an i n v e s t i -gation of the l a t e r a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of 330 c h i l d r e n , 18 of whom were left-handed. Clark's w r i t i n g t e s t included i n v e s t i g a t i o n of both speed and q u a l i t y , using the same sample of w r i t i n g , executed i n two minutes, f o r both purposes. 12 Each of the 18 left-handers was paired with a right-hander on the basis of classroom, sex, and i n t e l l i g e n c e . A s i m i l a r paired group was established of 14 right-handers who had been converted, or who showed strong s i n i s t r a l tendencies, with 14 right-handers who showed no left-handed tendencies. The r e s u l t s of her t e s t do not support the hypo-thes i s that left-handers are slower writers than r i g h t -handers of the same sex and i n t e l l i g e n c e , taught i n the same c l a s s , although the means f o r both the left-handed writers and f o r those with left-handed tendencies were lower than the means f o r the corresponding right-handers. The r e s u l t s of her tes t do not support the hypothesis that left-handers produce w r i t i n g of a poorer q u a l i t y than the corresponding right-handers. Differences were not apparent between r i g h t -and left-handers i n s a c r i f i c i n g speed to q u a l i t y or q u a l i t y to speed. Clark concludes that i f di f f e r e n c e s do e x i s t i n the speed and q u a l i t y of r i g h t - and left-handed w r i t i n g , an i n v e s t i g a t i o n on a much lar g e r scale than hers would be required f o r confirmation of d i f f e r e n c e s . The left-hander's effectiveness as a writer would seem, from a l l these r e c e n t l y published studies, to be equivalent to that of a right-handed w r i t e r . In view, however, of the lack of rigorous c o n t r o l i n matching the p a i r s i n one relevant study (Smith and Reed, 1957) and of the small sample i n another (Clark, 1957), f u r t h e r 13 i n v e s t i g a t i o n of handwriting di f f e r e n c e s i n r i g h t - and left-handed subjects i s continued i n t h i s present study. The matching of the p a i r s w i l l be more c a r e f u l l y c o n t r o l l e d than i n the study made by Smith and Reed; the sample w i l l be much la r g e r than i n the study made by Clark. The purpose of t h i s present study i s to investigate the d i f f e r e n c e s between the r i g h t - and left-handed groups i n speed of wr i t i n g , and i n t h e i r theme-writing e f f e c t i v e n e s s , both as to number of words produced and as to marks obtained i n subjective evaluations of the themes. .SECTION I I I METHOD 1. Subjects and bases of matching p a i r s The subjects of t h i s study were grade VII, VIII. and IX p u p i l s i n the Vancouver schools. The i n v e s t i g a t o r , acting as a substitute teacher, was c a l l e d to f i v e widely separated schools, thereby obtaining a representative sample of the Vancouver junior high school population. The schools were K i t s i l a n o , Templeton, David Thompson, Lord Byng and K i l l a r n e y . Twenty-three classes were tested, 11 of which were a l l g i r l s , 10 a l l boys and 2 mixed. Of the 722 subjects tested, 88 were left-handed. Of the 368 g i r l s tested, 38 were left-handed; of the 354-boys tested, 50 were left-handed. Three left-handed g i r l s and one left-handed boy were l e f t out of the sample because of p h y s i c a l condition or lack of information on t h e i r i n t e l l i g e n c e . The 84- q u a l i f y i n g left-handers were matched with 84- right-handers on the bases of age, grade, sex, school, years i n Canada not l e s s than f i v e , strength of handedness (those right-handed writers who showed signs of l e f t -handedness by erasing with t h e i r l e f t hands, or who said 15 they had been changed from left-handedness, were not included i n the co n t r o l group), and i n t e l l i g e n c e . A l l information, except on i n t e l l i g e n c e , was obtained from the subjects' answers to a questionnaire written on the blackboard. I n t e l l i g e n c e r a t i n g s were obtained i n the school o f f i c e f i l e s . The l a t e s t r a t i n g entered i n the f i l e s was taken. In a l l cases but one, the rat i n g s were from Otis group t e s t s ; the exception was a high r a t i n g left-handed subject on the basis of the Stanford-Binet, who was paired with h i s highest r a t i n g left-handed classmate, considerably lower numerically on the basis of the O t i s . 2. The tasks Each class was met by the i n v e s t i g a t o r at the beginning of a school period, and given a f r i e n d l y b r i e f i n g on the part they were to play as subjects i n a research p r o j e c t . A l l were supplied with foolscap paper, l i n e d on both sides, and with b a l l - p o i n t pens. Eor the speed t e s t they were given the following i n s t r u c t i o n s : I want to see how f a s t you can write. When I give the s i g n a l , write one two three four etc., as f a r as you can go u n t i l I t e l l you to stop i n 100 seconds. You use no commas, no dashes, just words. A demonstration of the w r i t i n g was made at the board and then the s i g n a l to begin was given. A f t e r completion of t h i s t e s t , to allow a change 16 of pace and muscle r e l a x a t i o n , they were i n s t r u c t e d to answer the questionnaire, using the same side of the paper f o r t h e i r answers. A f t e r plenty of time had "been given f o r a l l to f i n i s h the questionnaire, the essay-type t e s t was introduced as follows: OK. Turn over your page. Do not put your name on t h i s side. When these papers are marked, the examiners are not supposed to know whose they are. I want to see what kind of a piece you can write about Vancouver i n f i v e minutes. Write as i f you are promising to show the c i t y to a f r i e n d from out of town. Sta r t l i k e t h i s : I f you come to Vancouver I w i l l show you The intr o d u c t i o n was written on the blackboard f o r a l l to see; the subjects were then t o l d to begin. Ten seconds before the end of f i v e minutes, they were i n s t r u c t e d to f i n i s h t h e i r sentence and stop. 3. Treatment of data a) Speed t e s t Scoring was on the basis of the l e t t e r s used i n w r i t i n g "one two three four etc", as f a r as possible i n 100 seconds. For example, "one two" would be scored 6; "one... twenty" would be scored 112, the t o t a l number of l e t t e r s used i n w r i t i n g the numbers from one to twenty. The experimental design chosen was that of matched p a i r s of r i g h t - and left-handed subjects, with handedness the independent variable and w r i t i n g speed the dependent 17 v a r i a b l e . Other relevant v a r i a b l e s (age, grade, sex,: i n t e l l i g e n c e , etc.) are assumed to be c o n t r o l l e d by the c a r e f u l matching of the p a i r s . The differences i n scores of the matched p a i r s of r i g h t - and left-handed subjects were examined f o r s i g n i f i c a n c e by the t t e s t with 83 df at the . 0 5 l e v e l of confidence. b) P r o d u c t i v i t y Scoring was on the.basis of the length of the production i n the 5-min.ute written themes. The experimental design chosen was that of matched p a i r s of r i g h t - and left-handed subjects, with handedness the independent v a r i a b l e , and amount produced on the theme the dependent v a r i a b l e . Relevant personal v a r i a b l e s , as i n the speed t e s t , were c o n t r o l l e d by the c a r e f u l matching of the p a i r s . To eliminate word length and size of w r i t i n g as v a r i a b l e s , the hand-written themes were not used e i t h e r f o r word counting or l i n e counting. Instead, the written themes were typed on the same machine, set f o r uniform l i n e length, and these copies were used f o r measuring p r o d u c t i v i t y . The number of typewritten l i n e s of each theme was taken as a score. The scores of the copied themes of the matched p a i r s of r i g h t - and left-handed subjects were then examined on the basis of Right Better Then L e f t (more l i n e s ) , or 18 Eight Worse Than L e f t (fewer l i n e s ) . The difference between Right Better Than L e f t and Right Worse Than L e f t was examined f o r s i g n i f i c a n c e by a Chi square t e s t of associ a t i o n , with 1 df at the . 0 5 l e v e l of confidence. c) Subjective evaluation of written and typed themes Evaluation of the themes was on the basis of an eleven point scale, 0 to 1 0 , and was made by four judges, each one a teacher and three with one or more u n i v e r s i t y degrees. Each judge preceded h i s marking by reading a l i s t of q u a l i t i e s commonly a f f e c t i n g subjective judgment of school compositions (Remondino, 1 9 5 9 ) : Readability, aesthetic arrangement, appearance, s p e l l i n g , syntax, organization of ideas, wealth of ideas, adequacy of thoughts, comprehensiveness, conciseness, language usage, s t y l e , o r i g i n a l i t y , maturity and imagination. When he had read t h i s l i s t , the judge was i n s t r u c t e d to mark the theme on the basis of h i s global impression of i t s value. Themes were judged twice by each marker, once i n the o r i g i n a l handwritten state, and once i n the typewritten f a c s i m i l e . At l e a s t four days elapsed between the two marking sessions of each judge. Two of the judges marked the typewritten versions f i r s t , two the written versions. The experimental design chosen was that of matched p a i r s of themes, one the o r i g i n a l hand-written theme and 19 the other the typewritten copy of the o r i g i n a l theme. Since a l l errors i n s p e l l i n g , punctuation, etc., i n the o r i g i n a l w ritten theme were preserved i n the typewritten copies, only r e a d a b i l i t y (the e f f e c t of the q u a l i t y of the w r i t i n g on the judges) remains as an independent v a r i a b l e . The dependent variable i s the subjective evaluation of the theme i n both versions, w r i t t e n and typed. The marks of the written and typewritten versions of each theme by each judge were inspected f o r "Better Typed" or "Worse Typed", i n two categories: a. f o r the themes of the right-handed subjects b. f o r the themes of the left-handed subjects In each category, the difference between "Better Typed" and "Worse Typed" was examined f o r s i g n i f i c a n c e by the Chi square t e s t of a s s o c i a t i o n , with 1 df at the .05 l e v e l of confidence. .SECTION IV RESULTS 1. Speed t e s t Variances i n the speed scores of the r i g h t -and left-handed writers were not found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on the basis of the F t e s t , so that the use of the s t a t i s t i c t with 83 df at the . 0 5 l e v e l of confidence seemed appropriate. D i s t r i b u t i o n of data i s assumed to be normal. No s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . d i f f e r e n c e s were found between the mean right-handed w r i t i n g speed of 173*3 and the mean left-handed w r i t i n g speed of 167 .9• 21 TABLE 1 SPEED SCORES Mean score df Variances E Standard t E r r o r Right Handed 173.3 83 1104.2 1.187 4.9 1.321 L e f t Handed 167.9 83 9 3 0 . 2 2 . P r o d u c t i v i t y 22 When the matched p a i r s of r i g h t - and left-handed subjects were compared f o r p r o d u c t i v i t y on the basis of which of the p a i r had the highest l i n e score on the type-written f a c s i m i l e s of the o r i g i n a l themes, i t was found that Right Better Than L e f t occurred 4-3 times; Right Worse Than L e f t occurred 32 times. This i s not a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e i n terms of the Chi square t e s t of a s s o c i a t i o n , with a df of 1 at the . 0 5 l e v e l of confidence. 3 . Subjective evaluations of written and typed themes On the basis of the scores a l l o t t e d by four judges to the written themes and to the typewritten f a c s i m i l e s , judged at l e a s t four days before or a f t e r the written themes, a. 95 judgments were i n favour of Right Better Typed and 105 judgments were i n favour of Right Worse Typed; b. I l l judgments were i n favour of L e f t Better Typed and 98 judgments were i n favour of L e f t Worse Typed. 23 TABLE 2 JUDGMENTS ON TYPED AND WRITTEN THEMES Right-handed Left-handed Better Typed Than Written 95 111 Worse Typed Than Written 106 98 7C .602 .808 24 Differences between the typed and wr i t t e n versions, on the basis of the Chi square te s t of a s s o c i a t i o n with 1 df at the .05 l e v e l of confidence were not s i g n i f i c a n t i n e i t h e r the right-handed group or the left-handed group. Therefore i t i s p o i n t l e s s to compare the r e s u l t s of the right-hand category with those of the left-hand category, even though the right-handed group got more judgments i n favour of "Worse Typed" and the left-handed group got more judgments i n favour of "Better Typed". SECTION V DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS The n u l l hypothesis could not be r e j e c t e d i n any area of t h i s study, whether i n speed, p r o d u c t i v i t y , or i n • the influence of handwriting i n s u b j e c t i v e l y evaluated themes w r i t t e n i n f i v e minutes. These r e s u l t s are i n keeping with those of the most recent s i m i l a r studies (Smith & Reed, 1957; Clark, 1957) . The lack of s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between r i g h t - and left-handed subjects i n the aspects of handwriting considered i n t h i s study does not exclude the p o s s i b i l i t y that some left-handed writers (and indeed some right-handed writers) are at a disadvantage i n the examination s i t u a t i o n because of the speed or q u a l i t y of t h e i r handwriting. In speed, the scores i n both groups v a r i e d from approximately 80 to approximately 240. That i s , under the pressure of speed, the f a s t e s t writers produced about three times as many l e t t e r s as the slowest. The number of l e t t e r s he can produce i n 100 seconds may or may not p r e d i c t an i n d i v i d u a l ' s capacity f o r f i n i s h i n g examinations of one to three hours duration. There i s the p o s s i b i l i t y , however, that slow writers are not able to write enough to express t h e i r knowledge of a subject i n the time a l l o t t e d i n a given examination. The fatigue variable i s probably n e g l i g i b l e i n a 100 second or 5 minute t e s t . A longer period of t e s t i n g , f o r example, the three hour period of the u n i v e r s i t y examination, would be appropriate f o r studying the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between fatigue and word production or fatigue and handedness. The spread of scores from 1 to 11 i n l i n e p r o d u c t i v i t y i n the themes i s i n d i c a t i v e of wide i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s and worthy of study apart from the aspect of handedness, which was not found to be a s i g n i f i c a n t influence on production. While the differences i n subjective evaluations of written and typed themes were not found to be s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h i s study, the r e v e r s a l i n trend between the judgments on r i g h t - and left-handed groups seems worthy of note. The judges l i k e d the themes of the right-handers better when they were i n the o r i g i n a l hand-written state; they l i k e d the themes of the left-handers better when they were copied on the typewriter. This r e v e r s a l may be a t t r i -buted s t a t i s t i c a l l y only to chance and cannot therefore be a base from which to draw conclusions. While the r e s u l t s of a l l three t e s t s show the right-handed group at a s l i g h t advantage over the matched left-handed group, chance f a c t o r s have not been r u l e d out as the sole determinants of t h i s apparent trend. 2 7 The conclusion i n the study made on roughly matched p a i r s (Smith & Reed, 1 9 5 7 ) that there i s no s i g n i -f i c a n t difference "between the r i g h t - and left-handed groups i n the speed of wr i t i n g i s confirmed i n t h i s study, made with c a r e f u l l y matched p a i r s . The conclusion i n the study made on a small'sample of 18 p a i r s (Clark, 1 9 5 7 ) that there i s no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the r i g h t - and left-handed groups i n ei t h e r the speed or q u a l i t y of w r i t i n g i s confirmed i n t h i s study, made on a larg e r sample of 84 p a i r s . The o v e r - a l l s t a t i s t i c a l r e s u l t s of t h i s study do not e s t a b l i s h s i g n i f i c a n t differences between r i g h t - and left-handed groups i n any of the areas of handwriting under i n v e s t i g a t i o n . I f di f f e r e n c e s e x i s t between r i g h t - and left-handed writers i n speed and q u a l i t y of wr i t i n g , they do not become apparent i n one- to five-minute t e s t s . SECTION VI i SUMMARY The handwriting of 84 p a i r s of l e f t - and r i g h t -handed juni o r high school students was examined to f i n d out i f the left-handers were at any disadvantage i n speed, p r o d u c t i v i t y , or the q u a l i t y of r e a d a b i l i t y . The experimental design of matched p a i r s was used throughout. For speed, the p a i r s were matched r i g h t - and left-handers, with the amount written i n one hundred seconds the dependent v a r i a b l e . For p r o d u c t i v i t y , the p a i r s were matched r i g h t - and left-handers, with the length of the typed f a c s i m i l e s of the written themes as the dependent v a r i a b l e . For the q u a l i t y of r e a d a b i l i t y , the p a i r s were hand-written themes and t h e i r typed f a c s i m i l e s , with read-a b i l i t y the dependent v a r i a b l e . The n u l l hypothesis could not be r e j e c t e d i n any of the three aspects under i n v e s t i g a t i o n of w r i t i n g and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to handedness. REFERENCES Baker, H. J . An introduction to exceptional c h i l d r e n . New York: Macmillan, 194-5. Belzung, A. Is left-handedness a handicap? Ed. Digest, 1957, 2£, -44-4-5. Benton, A. L., & Menefee, F. L. Handedness and r i g h t - l e f t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . C h i l d Developm., 1957, 28, 237-24-2. Blau, A. The master hand. New York: The American Ortho-p s y c h i a t r i c Association, 1946. Burt, C. The backward c h i l d . London: U n i v e r s i t y of London Press, 1937. Burt, C. The causes and treatment of backwardness. London: U n i v e r s i t y of London Press, 1954. Clark, Margaret M. L e f t handedness l a t e r a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and t h e i r educational i m p l i c a t i o n s . London: U n i v e r s i t y of London Press, 1957. Clark, Margaret M. Teaching left-handed c h i l d r e n . London: U n i v e r s i t y of London Press, 1959. Cole, L u e l l a . Psychology of the elementary school subjects. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1934-. Cole, L u e l l a . Handwriting f o r left-handed c h i l d r e n , grades 1-6. Bloomington, 111 . : Public Schools Pub. Co., 1955« F a r r e l l , M. J . , & G i l b e r t , N. Type of bias i n marking examination s c r i p t s . Br. J. Ed. Psychol., i 9 6 0 , 3 0 , 4-7-52. Freeman, F. N. The teaching of handwriting. Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n Co., 1914. Garrison, K. C. The psychology of exceptional c h i l d r e n . New York: Roland Press, 1950. Garrison, K. D., & Dewey, G. F., J r . The psychology of exceptional c h i l d r e n ( 3 r d ed.). New York: Roland Press, 1959. Gillingham, A., & Stillman, B. Remedial t r a i n i n g f o r c h i l d r e n with s p e c i f i c d i s a b i l i t y i n reading, s p e l l i n g and penmanship. Published by the authors, 1946. Gordon, L. V. Right handed answer sheets and l e f t handed testees. Ed. & Psych. M., 1958, 18, 783-5-Heilburn, A. B., J r . Vocabulary response as r e l a t e d to cerebral l e s i o n : an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of "Latent Aphasia". J . abnorm. & s o c i a l Psychol., 1958, £ 2 , 237-239. Hewes, G. W. L a t e r a l dominance, culture and w r i t i n g systems. Human Biology, 1949, 2 1 . H i l d r e t h , Gertrude. Learning the three R's: A modern i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Minneapolis, Minn.: Educational Publishers, 1936. H i l d r e t h , Gertrude. Learning the three R's: A modern i n t e r p r e t a t i o n (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, Minn.: Educational Publishers, 1947. Lucas, A. B. Writing. London, Ont.: Monographs i n Education, 1953, No. 4 . 31 Lucas, A. B. The left-handed p u p i l (Rev.)' London, Ont.: Monographs i n Education, No. 2. Orton, S. T. Reading, w r i t i n g and speech problems i n c h i l d r e n . New York: Norton, 1937. Parsons, B. S. Left-handedness: A new i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . New York: Macmillan, 1924. Remondino, C. F a c t o r i a l analysis of the evaluation of sc h o l a s t i c compositions i n the mother tongue. B r i t . J . Ed. Psychol., 1959, 29 ( 3 ) , 242-51. R i f e , D. C. Handedness and dermatoglyphics i n twins. Human Biology, 1943, 15, 55-64. R i f e , D. C , & Cummins, H. Dermatoglyphics and "Mirror Imaging". Human Biology, 1943, 15, 46 - 5 4 . Smith, A. C , & Reed, G. P. Experimental i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the r e l a t i v e speeds of l e f t and r i g h t hand w r i t e r s . J . Genetic Psychol., 1957, 94 , 6 7 - 7 6 . T r a n k e l l , A. The influence of the choice of w r i t i n g hand on the handwriting. Br. J. educ. Psychol., 1956, 26, 94-103. Unpublished material Wheeler, G. Post-operative change i n master hand, I 9 6 0 . 

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