Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The left and right hemispheres have unique modes of processing data: the former verbal-analytic, the latter spatial-holistic. Dominant direction of lateral eye movement on answering reflective questions has been interpreted as indicating differential contralateral hemispheric activation and, by inference, predominant reliance on one or the other mode.

This study tested the hypothesis that neurological organization of the brain underlies and unifies individual perceptual, cognitive, and personality style differences. Right-lookers were expected to be more obsessive-compulsive and to obtain a predicted pattern of test scores congruent with left hemispheric characteristics, while left-lookers were expected to be more hysteroid and to obtain a contrasting pattern of scores. Predictions regarding sex differences were also made.

Forty-three right-handed undergraduate psychology students from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, were solicited from subjects screened for dominant direction of lateral eye movement in a related study: 11 male left-lookers, 9 male right-lookers, 12 female left-lookers, 11 female right-lookers (percentage of unilateral eye movements, 63-100%). Subjects (compensated $10.00 each) were tested individually, completing the Hysteroid:Obsessoid Questionnaire, the Rorschach Inkblot Test (following Exner's Comprehensive System guidelines), with pre- and post-administrations of the State Anxiety Inventory.

A 2 x 2 factorial design was utilized with independent variables 'sex' and 'direction of lateral eye movement.' An Analysis of Variance on 53 variables yielded a significant interaction on 5, with trends on 3, and significant main effects on 11, with trends on 10. A Multivariate Analysis of Variance on 4 variables yielded no overall group effect. Factor Analysis of 53 variables produced 13 factors, accounting for 86% of the variance. A Discriminant Function Analysis of these factors produced no overall effect for the independent variables or their interaction; the Analysis of Variance portion of this procedure indicated a trend on one factor.

No clear patterns in test scores emerged, some results were unpredicted or contrary to expectation, and sex differences appeared important. It was concluded that critical Rorschach scoring issues need to be resolved, that sample population characteristics may be implicated, and that use of the lateral eye movement phenomenon to determine hemispheric dominance may be inadequate.