Left Field

Does anxiety send you into left field? Literally?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, and on emotional orientation!

Psychologists in the UK report that a person’s emotions can steer where they walk. They say anxiety or inhibition can lead people leftwards. But overall positive vibes can nudge them right!

The team’s finding emerged from an experiment involving anxiety and blindfolds. Not related to 50 Shades of Grey. The scientists recruited 80 undergrads to complete a survey on their mental state. Each student also donned a blindfold and tried to walk a straight line.

It’s harder than you think!

Some stayed centered. But anxious students drifted left, and positive-feeling folks headed right. Then they all played kickball!

Just kidding about the kickball. Though it would have been fun to watch.

Previous studies suggest activity in the brain’s right hemisphere leads a person to more closely watch their left side. Anxious people may experience more right-brain activity.

Maybe that explains all those speeders in the freeway fast lane! Make room on the left! They’re anxious! And not just ’cause they’re late.