CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN DRAWING MOVEMENTS BETWEEN RIGHT-HANDED JAPANESE AND GERMAN PARTICIPANTS1


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Abstract

Summary.Differences in drawing movements with the dominant and nondominant hands by 41 right-handed students from Japan (9 men, 12 women; M age = 20.3 yr., SD = 1.4) and Germany (13 men, 7 women; M age = 23.4 yr., SD = 3.0) were investigated. Participants were asked to use each hand to draw a circle, a pentagon, and a rhombus in one stroke. Analysis showed that Japanese participants drew a circle clockwise with the dominant right hand, starting from 6 or 7 o'clock on the face of a clock, while the German participants drew the circle counterclockwise, starting from 11 or 12 o'clock. Moreover, when drawing a pentagon and a rhombus with the right hand, Japanese participants drew counterclockwise from the top-center vertex, whereas almost half of German participants drew clockwise from the left side and others drew counterclockwise from the top-center vertex. Using the left hand, no significant difference was found in starting positions or directionality. Cultural differences in the starting positions and directionality when using the dominant right hand probably reflect the influence of writing habits on the drawing movement of the dominant hand.

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