Which Side Is Your Good Side? Here Comes the Science

It turns out humans do have a preference, studies show: left is best.

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Whatever you do, accentuate that left cheek of yours: it is your best one. According to a scientific study, there no longer remains a question of which is your best side. Everyone, it seems, agrees that left is best.

Wake Forest University psychology professor Dr. James Schirillo and co-author Kelsey Blackburn published their findings in the journal Experimental Brain Research, stating that we humans prefer looking at the left side of a face, finding it more pleasant.

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The pair took photos of 10 male and 10 female faces, and created a series of originals and mirror images, so that a right cheek could be made to look like a left or the other way around. When asked, 37 male and female college students overwhelmingly favored the left side, and it didn’t matter whether the left side was the original or the mirrored version.

Researchers also noted that when rating the cheeks, test subjects had larger pupil sizes when looking at the left cheek compared to the right. A growing pupil signifies looking at a positive image.

“Our results suggest that posers’ left cheeks tend to exhibit a greater intensity of emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing,” said the researchers in a statement. They added that this finding lends credence to the idea that the right side of the brain controls emotion, giving the left side of the face (which is also controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain) a bit more to work with.

It’s also a difference that painters have seemingly known about for centuries; historically, most portraits depict a person’s left side.

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