Introduction: What do Coffee Drinks have to do With Handedness?
Handedness is a remarkably consistent human trait— almost all of us are either consistently right-handed or left-handed, and never switch between the two. It turns out that this simple preference for one hand over another can have a profound effect on one’s coffee drinking habits, as right-handed people tend to favor right-handed coffees, while left-handed individuals tend to favor left-handed coffee, a phenomenon known as “handedness specificity” (Davidoff et al., 2005; Plomin et al., 2005).
There are at least a dozen studies worldwide that have found the average right-handed coffee drinker consumes 9% more coffee per day (McLaughlin, Abrams & Steen, 1995; Bergquist et al., 2001; Blais et al. 1994; Engen & Ringelberg, 2003; Molinari et al., 1995; Shealy & Plomin, 1998), 22% more caffeine content per cup (Zack & Nairn, 2013), and is 10% more likely to consume espresso (Bergquist et al., 2001).
What is the Link Between Coffee Drinks and Handedness?
In the study , conducted by Duke University and led by psychologist David Yaniv of Tel Aviv University, participants with a preference for coffee drinking over tea drinking were asked to drink a cup of either coffee or tea, or to drink from one cup without a preference. Those who drank both had the highest preference for coffee. However, the “chocolate test” determined which side of their brain they used to move their hands, with their dominant hand using their dominant side and vice versa. The “chocolate test” is an ambiguous situation where the participant has to choose a chocolate from one cup and not from another cup. This was done because participants also had to push a button with one hand or the other.
The researchers asked participants to use the same hand for button pushing and chocolate picking. The participants who used their left hands for both tasks preferred coffee over tea, whereas those that used their right hand for both favored tea over coffee. “We have discovered a new preference-related trait – handedness,” said Yaniv, “and can say that about half of the population prefers to be ‘right-handed’ in life, including in matters of lifestyle such as drinking a hot beverage like coffee. [END]
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Editing errors, perhaps?
Which Coffee Drinkers are Most Likely to be Left-handed?
The study results indicate that left-handed or mixed-handed people are more likely to prefer coffee drinks over tea than right-handed people are. Of the left-handed participants, the ones who drank coffee had a higher preference for it than their right-handed counterparts. Interestingly, there was no difference in hand preference between right and left- handed tea drinkers. The findings of this study suggest that the preference of tea over coffee is linked to the left-hand (ambidextrous) behavior of the tea drinkers.
Source: Journal of Biosocial Science, September 2008 vol 40 no 3 631-638.
Abstract: The association between handedness and particular food preferences has been systematically examined in only a few studies so far. Right-handed people, for example, have been found to prefer soda drinks over fruit juice and beer over wine more than left-handed people do. In contrast, tea preference is generally considered to be independent of handedness. So far, no study has investigated the association between handedness and coffees and teas consumption. In this study of young adults (N=196) self-reported which beverage they prefer at least once a week and handedness. The choice pattern of those who drink coffee was compared with that of those who prefer tea. We found that more left-handed people drink coffee than do right-handed people. Moreover, this association is not higher for tea drinkers.
“Authors’ note: This study was conducted by the authors and they did all the statistical analyses.”