Want to Bum a Smoke? Whisper in Their Right Ear

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2009 4:48 PM CDT
A smoker in a bar.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – People prefer to listen with their right ears and are more giving when addressed from that side, LiveScience reports. An Italian study conducted in nightclubs shows that almost three-quarters of people observed listen with their right ear. Moreover, the researchers cadged significantly more cigarettes when they approached clubgoers on the right, rather than left, when trying to bum a smoke.

The researchers suppose that the difference is attributable to the hemispheres of the brain. The left hemisphere, tied to the right ear, is superior at language processing, while the right is better at understanding emotion. “The left hemisphere, moreover, is more involved in approach behavior, whereas the right has a role in withdrawal and avoidance behavior,” a researcher said.