People who use their right hand for almost everything they do tend to like popular music, but not unfamiliar genres such as reggae, bluegrass, and jazz, a new study published in the journal Psychology of Music reveals.
Having a strong preference for using their right hand may indicate a person is less open to new musical experiences, suggests study author Stephen Christman, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
The findings also include that people who are mixed-handed - meaning they use their nondominant hand for at least two activities - reported a wider variety of musical interest.
"Mixed-handers are more 'in touch' with a wide variety of right hemisphere processes," said Dr. Christman. The brain's right hemisphere, the so-called 'creative' side, allows us to see things in new ways, he explains.
In the survey of 96 college students, 49 were found to be strong righties, four were strong lefties, and 43 were mixed-handed. The students then rated how often they listened to different types of music. "Popular" categories, based on industry sales, included classic rock, heavy metal, country, and rap/hip-hop. "Unpopular" included world and folk music, reggae, and jazz.