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Surprising Science

How Malleable Is the Mind?

Whether right or left-handed, people associate “good” with their dominant side. But if that displeases you, it can be changed. Our minds are perhaps more easily influenced than we think.

Researchers testing subjects’ conception of right and wrong found that under certain conditions, we are quick to change our minds. “A team led by Daniel Casasanto at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, showed 13 people who had had strokes a cartoon character in between two squares, and told them that it ‘loves zebras and thinks they are good, but hates pandas and thinks they are bad’. They then asked them which square the character would put each animal in. All 13 people had once been right-handed, but eight had lost control of their right sides. …”


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