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J Forensic Sci. 2010 Sep;55(5):1232-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01451.x. Epub 2010 Jun 25.

Knot-tying habits, tier handedness, and experience.

Author information

  • Department of Outdoor and Experiential Education, Faculty of Education, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada. chisnall@kingston.net


Previous research concerning tier handedness, experience and the configuration of simple, habitual knots has been scant and conflicting. Survey data were collected from 21 disparate groups comprising 562 respondents in total. Regardless of experience, respondents tied both Granny and Reef Knots. Dextral tying was dominated by S knots. Left-handers tied Z knots more frequently than right-handers. However, the frequency of S and Z knots relative to tier hand dominance, which is not binary, occurred on a continuum. Averaging all survey tasks, more than 70% of knots tied by dextrals were S, whereas only 56% of those tied by sinistrals were S. These percentages varied somewhat according to specific tying tasks and the number of working ends. Furthermore, tiers' shoelace and parcel knots were not always identical, and a ranked pattern in parcel and shoelace knots was revealed. The examination of habitual knots could benefit criminal investigations.

© 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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