Award Date

8-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Russell Hurlburt, Chair

Second Committee Member

Jeffrey Kern

Third Committee Member

Murray Millar

Graduate Faculty Representative

Terance Miethe

Number of Pages

174

Abstract

Research suggests that there are anatomical asymmetries of the human brain in relation to hand preference. In addition, left-handedness has been related to a wide range of psychological and physical problems. Despite these relationships, little is known about the inner experience of left-handers. The present study used Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) to explore the inner experience of 6 left-handed participants. Descriptive Experience Sampling is a nonquantitative sampling method designed to explore and describe inner experience. Undergraduate psychology students were recruited from UNLV to participate in the study. Recruitment consisted of three phases: screening, qualification, and sampling. Students who reported writing with their left-hand in the screening phase moved into the qualification phase. During this phase, students completed the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI). Students who were left-handed, as indicated by their score on the EHI, were asked to participate in the sampling phase. During the sampling phase, the present study examined the inner experience of each subject. After examining the inner experience of each subject, the present study examined across-subjects data and compared the findings from this study to the findings of Heavey and Hurlburt (2008). To date, there have not been any inner experience explorations of left-handed individuals. The present study found that inner experience among left-handed individuals is most saliently characterized by sensory awareness, inner seeing, unsymbolized thinking, multiple experience, searching, and inner speech. The present study found that left-handed individuals experience words and feelings substantially less than the general population.

Keywords

Cerebral dominance; Descriptive; Experience; Laterality; Left- and right-handedness – Psychological aspects; Sampling; Self-consciousness (Awareness); Thought and thinking

Disciplines

Biological Psychology

Language

English


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