Study of Human Dominant Thumb and Handedness


In this experiment, the relationship of handedness and thumb dominance was tested. 50 people were asked to clasp their hands. Each person’s thumb dominance and handedness were recorded. Although there was evidence of all dominance/handedness combinations, there seemed to be a connection between the person’s handedness and their left thumb dominance.

Background Information: When people clasp their hands, almost all have a strong preference; either the right thumb is on top or the left thumb is on top.

Hand-clasping is sometimes used to illustrate basic genetics. There have been many studies, of all different types, leading all the way back to 1908. These studies have had different outcomes, but most lead to the conclusion of thumb dominance is not generally a genetic trait.


The purpose of this study is to find whether or not there is a relationship between handedness and thumb dominance.


There will be no correlation between which thumb is on top and the hand dominance when the hands are clasped.


  • Equipment used: Paper, Pencil, and 50 volunteers.
  • Collection of Data: The researcher went to a large public place (The Mall) and asked 50 random volunteers to simply clasp their hands together. The researcher then noted on paper, which thumb was on top of the other. The researcher then asked the volunteer if they were left or right handed, and also noted this on paper.


| # of subjects| % of subjects|

  • Right-handed with right thumb dominance| 6| 12%|
  • Right-handed with left thumb dominance| 32| 64%|
  • Left-handed with right thumb dominance| 2| 4%|
  • Left-handed with left thumb dominance| 10| 20%|

The results of this experiment showed that the majority of right-handed test subjects had left thumb dominance (64%).

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Also, the majority of left handed test subjects had left thumb dominance as well (20%). Out of all 50 test subjects, with both left and right handedness, 42 (84%) had a left thumb dominance, and 8 (16%) had a right thumb dominance.

Discussion/Conclusion: The hypothesis of the experiment was not supported. Based on the results of the experiment, there was a strong connection in the data. In right-handedness, there was generally left thumb dominance. Also, with left-handedness, there was generally a left thumb dominance as well. This proves the hypothesis that were would be no correlation, inaccurate.


  1. Mcdonald, J. (2011, December 08). Hand clasping-the myth. Retrieved from
  2. Wiener, A.S. 1932. Observations on the manner of clasping the hands and folding the arms. American Naturalist Vorndam, M. General biology independent laboratory experiences for the college science major first semester. Sheridan, CO: Hands-on Labs, Inc.

Cite this page

Study of Human Dominant Thumb and Handedness. (2016, Jun 13). Retrieved from

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