Ambidexterity and left-handedness
The materials required for the science fair project experiment:
- 5 left-handed participants
- 5 right-handed participants
- 10 scissors
- 20 copies of paper with 5 objects drawn
- 10 bolts and nuts
- 1 stopwatch
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the nature of the tasks given to the participants – cutting paper and fixing a nut to a bolt. The dependent variable is the time taken by the participants to complete the given tasks. The time taken is measured using a stopwatch. The constants (control variables) are the size of the objects to be cut, the thickness of the paper, the size of the nut and the bolt.
2. The 10 participants will be given two tasks to complete:
a. For the first task, they will be given a pair of scissors and a piece of paper with 5 objects drawn on it. They are required to cut out the objects using one hand. They are allowed to hold the paper with the other hand.
b. For the second task, they will be given 5 bolts and 5 nuts. Using only one hand, they must fix the nut on to the bolt. They are not allowed to use their other hand.
3. The 10 participants are first required to perform the task using their dominant hand. The dominant hand will be the right hand for a right hander and the left hand for a left hander. Both the tasks will be performed continuously and the total time taken is recorded in the table given below.
4. The participants will next be required to complete both tasks using their less-dominant hand. The time taken is recorded in the table given below.
5. Their level of ambidexterity is calculated using the formula below and recorded in the table. A figure close to 1 represents high ambidexterity and a figure close to 0 represents poor ambidexterity.
Ambidexterity level = (Time taken using less dominant hand)/ (Time taken using dominant hand)
Basic safety requirements