The Simon Effect Asymmetry for Left- and Right-Dominant Persons

Date
2023
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Ubiquity Press
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When participants respond to a task-relevant stimulus attribute by pressing a left or right key with the respective index finger, reaction time is shorter if task-irrelevant left-right stimulus location corresponds to that of the response key than if it does not. For right-handers, this Simon effect is larger for right-located than left-located stimuli; for left-handers this Simon-effect asymmetry is reversed. A similar asymmetry has been found for right-footers pressing pedals with their feet. For analyses that separate stimulus- and response-location factors, these asymmetries appear as a main effect of response location, with responses being faster with the dominant effector. If the Simon-effect asymmetry is strictly a function of effector dominance, it should reverse for left-footers responding with their feet. In Experiment 1, left-dominant persons showed faster responses with the left than right hand but with the right than left foot, a finding consistent with prior research on tapping actions. Right-dominant persons also showed the right-foot asymmetry but, unexpectedly, not the typical asymmetry with hand responses. To evaluate whether hand-presses yield results distinct from finger-presses, in Experiment 2 participants performed the Simon task with finger-presses and hand-presses. The opposing asymmetries for right- and left-dominant persons were evident for both response modes. Our results are consistent with the view that the Simon effect asymmetry is primarily due to differences in effector efficiency, usually but not always favoring the dominant effector.

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Proctor, Robert W., Zhong, Qi and Chen, Jing. "The Simon Effect Asymmetry for Left- and Right-Dominant Persons." 6, no. 1 (2023) Ubiquity Press: https://doi.org/10.5334/joc.265.

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