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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 13-Nov-09

 


Friday 13-November-09

Talk to the right ear

When you want to persuade someone about something does it matter which ear they listen with? Apparently it does. Recent research by Marzoli and Tommas in Italy shows that if they listen with the right ear, they are far more likely to comply with requests.

Marzoli and Tommas went to night clubs, where loud music makes listening tricky, and tried a series of experiments. When they tried asking for a cigarette in the left ear or the right ear of their subjects, they found that almost twice as many requests to the right ear were successful.

This confirms a tip I've heard before that when doing a presentation you will be more successful if you stand to the left (as you face the audience). Of course then more of what you say will reach the right ear than the left ear.

The explanation is that sound in the right ear goes to the left brain hemisphere, which is used more for verbal communication. The left hemisphere also has been associated with approach behaviour as opposed to the right hemisphere avoidance tendency.

Reference:
Marzoli, D. and Tommas, L. (2009). Side biases in humans (Homo sapiens): three ecological studies on hemispheric asymmetries, Naturwissenschaften, published online 20 June 2009


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