Convince Your Picky Partner – Try the Right Ear

Right EarDid you know that the right ear tends to be better at processing verbal stimuli? This is because the right ear sends input to the brain’s left hemisphere, and most people have left-hemisphere dominance for language function. In audiology, it’s called the “right ear effect” or the “right ear advantage.”

Italian researchers Luca Tommasi and Daniele Marzoli have taken the “right ear advantage” one step further and found that people are more likely to comply with a request when it is asked into the right ear.

In a 2009 study, they had a confederate visit a noisy Italian nightclub and ask random people for cigarettes. Strangers complied with these requests about twice as often when the requests were asked into the right ear (as opposed to into the left ear).

So, the next time you talk baby names with your partner and you’re side-by-side — on an airplane, in a car, in bed, etc. — be sure you’re on his or her right side.

Sources: 20Q: The Right-Ear Effect – Going Strong After Fifty Years!, Persuasion: The Right-Ear Advantage, Requests to the Right Ear Are More Successful Than to the Left


4 thoughts on “Convince Your Picky Partner – Try the Right Ear

  1. This is interesting. I always use my right ear when I’m talking on the phone. Even though my hearing is better in my left ear, I’ve always felt like I can hear better on the phone with my right ear. I always figured it was because my right ear was more used to it.

  2. This sounds very interesting, but I wonder about the facts.

    The right side of the brain is in control of the left side of your body and vice versa, hands, eyes (your dominant eye tells you wich side of your brain is more active), nose (the nostril that takes in more of your breath coincides with which side of your brain you’re using the most at the moment) and so on, so saying that speaking into the right ear to appeal to the right side of the brain makes no sense at all to me!! Do you know if it’s different with ears or if it’s just a typo or something, because I really can’t get on board with this since it goes against everything I’ve learnt about right vs. left side when it comes to brains.

    I know that the right side of my brain is the one I utilise most because I breathe more thsough my left nostril and because if I hold my finger up in front of me it stays still if I close my right eye but not if I close my left eye which means that my left eye is dominant (thus the right side of my brain). This also coincides with my creativity and holistic thinking and most aspects of being right-brained in general.

    Like I said, this is a very interesting piece of fact, if only I could believe it was true XD ( I need it as well, since I imagine it will take some effort to convince a future husband to name our first daughter Oleanna. She’s not for everyone!)

  3. Hi Dearest – In the 2nd sentence, I’ve got “the right ear sends input to the brain’s left hemisphere.” So I don’t think there’s any conflict.

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