THE RELATIONSHIP OF HANDEDNESS AND ACCIDENTS: A META-ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS AND THEORETICAL PROPOSITIONS
Mandal, M.K. and Dutta, T., Indian Institute of Technology, India
Studies investigating the relationship between handedness and accidents indicated that the left handers commit more accidents than the right- handers during motor performance. These findings were explained in terms of failure of the left-handers to adjust with the 'right-fit' world (Coren & Halpern, 1991). More recent studies documented a stronger relationship between mixed handers and accidents. These studies explained the findings in terms of 'clumsiness' of the mixed handers in taking motor decisions. A meta-analysis of findings of cross-national studies favour the later proposition. It was argued that these propositions were made on the basis of preference measures only; the nature of handedness as a function of (a) attentional bias (central measure), (b) hand performance / proficiency (peripheral measure), or (c) neuromuscular signals / reflexes (autonomic measure) was seldom studied. A theoretical model was proposed in this article to (a) examine handedness as a function of these three measures, (b) ascertain the relationship of handedness and accident-related injuries, and (c) diagnose hand-activity specific clinical syndromes.