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Laterality. 2016 Jul - Nov;21(4-6):662-671. doi: 10.1080/1357650X.2015.1136320. Epub 2016 Jan 28.

Family matters: Directionality of turning bias while kissing is modulated by context.

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a Department of Psychology , University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon , Canada.


When leaning forward to kiss to a romantic partner, individuals tend to direct their kiss to the right more often than the left. Studies have consistently demonstrated this kissing asymmetry, although other factors known to influence lateral biases, such as sex or situational context, had yet to be explored. The primary purpose of our study was to investigate if turning direction was consistent between a romantic (parent-parent) and parental (parent-child) kissing context, and secondly, to examine if sex differences influenced turning bias between parent-child kissing partners. An archival analysis coded the direction of turning bias for 161 images of romantic kissing (mothers kissing fathers) and 529 images of parental kissing (mothers or fathers kissing sons or daughters). The results indicated that the direction of turning bias differed between kissing contexts. As expected, a right-turn bias was observed for romantic kissing; however, a left-turn bias was exhibited for parental kissing. There was no significant difference of turning bias between any parent-child kissing partners. Interpretations for the left-turn bias discuss parental kissing as a learned lateral behaviour.


Laterality; behaviour; bias; context; kissing

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