NCBI ROFL: Valentine's Day Special: Kissing right? On the consistency of the head-turning bias in kissing.

By ncbi rofl | February 14, 2011 7:00 pm

“The present study investigated the consistency of the head-turning bias in kissing. In particular we addressed what happens if a person who prefers to kiss with the head turned to the right kisses a person who prefers to kiss with the head turned to the left. To this end, participants (N=57) were required to kiss a life-sized doll’s head rotated in different orientations that were either compatible or incompatible with the participants’ head-turning preference. Additionally, participants handedness, footedness, and eye preference was assessed. Results showed that a higher percentage of participants preferred to kiss with their head turned to the right than to the left. In addition, the right-turners were more consistent in their kissing behaviour than left-turners. That is, with the doll’s head rotated in an incompatible direction, right-turners were less likely to switch their head to their non-preferred side. Since no clear relationships between head-turning bias and the other lateral preferences (i.e., handedness, footedness, and eye preference) were discerned, the more consistent head-turning bias among right-turners could not be explained as deriving from a joint pattern of lateral preferences that is stronger among individuals with rightward as compared to individuals with leftward lateral preferences.”

Bonus Figure and quote:

Figure 1. The plastic head in seven orientations. From left to right, the 25°, 15°, and 5° to the left, the 0° or neutral, and the 5°, 15°, and 25° to the right orientations.

“Participants were asked to kiss a life-sized symmetrical plastic doll’s head (in its previous life, the plastic head served as a model for students at a hairdressing school) that was mounted on a height-adjustable tripod and positioned in front of a plain white wall of the laboratory. The height of the plastic head was adjusted so that its nose was at the same height as the individual participant’s nose… …The participants stood directly in front of the doll’s head and were instructed to kiss the head’s face on its lips in the same way as they would kiss another person. To determine their head-turning preference, all participants made a first kiss with the head oriented vertically (i.e., 0°). They then made a series of 35 kisses with each of the head orientations being presented five times in random order. Between trials the participants turned around while the experimenter changed the head’s orientation.”

Photo: flickr/Braclo

Related content:
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Discoblog:NCBI ROFL: Wham, bam, thank you ma’am: an evolutionary perspective.

WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: NCBI ROFL, valentine's day week
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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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