Can you handle this?: Motor activity, preference, and the body specificity hypothesis



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



According to the Body-Specificity Hypothesis, experiences of habitual motor fluency cause people to associate positive valence with their dominant hand side and confer positive valence to items located on their dominant hand side (Casasanto, 2009). Can ongoing motor experience impact this association in the absence of visually lateralized stimuli? In Experiment 1, participants flipped cards using one hand and rated the image on each card with respect to how well it was described by positive or negative personal characteristics. Contrary to our predictions, participant’s ratings were not biased by the hand that they used during the trial. In Experiment 2, the task was almost entirely the same, though participants wore a slippery glove on their dominant hand to reduce the perceived motor fluency of the dominant hand. Again, participant’s ratings were not biased by the relative motor fluency of the hand used during the trial. Results indicate that ongoing motor activity may not be sufficient to activate body specific preferences in the absence of visually lateralized stimuli.