• Measuring anxiety in left and right handers via the BIS/BAS scale: Is there a difference when the scales are reversed?

      Rodway, Paul; Davis, Felicity (University of Chester, 2016)
      A considerable amount of research suggests that left-handers experience more behavioural inhibition and anxiety than right-handers. This is due to the assumption that left-handers operate with a right hemispheric dominance, where behavioural inhibition is believed to be processed. The current study examined the relationship between handedness, behavioural approach and inhibition, where it was hypothesised that left-handers would achieve a higher score of behavioural inhibition than right-handers. Additionally, the effects of inverting the scale of measurement were examined, as previous investigations suggest that left-handers prefer items to the leftward spatial area, whereas right-handers prefer items to the rightward spatial area. Participants (N=213) completed two self-report questionnaires online, Carver and White’s (1994) BIS/BAS scale and the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (Oldfield, 1971). Participants were presented with either the normal version of the BIS/BAS scale, or the inverted version. No significant effects of handedness were obtained, thus suggesting that being left-handed does not increase anxiety. Additionally, there were no significant effects of inverting the BIS/BAS scale. The lack of significant results are discussed in relation to the importance of measuring handedness as a continuous variable rather than as a dichotomous variable.