I just found some current research* (published in June of 2009), that appears to indicate that we are more receptive to requests made to our right ear (as opposed to our left).
This is pretty interesting stuff.
The paper, published in the German Journal, Naturwissenschaften, looks at a series of three studies of ear preference between humans.
The researchers, Dr. Luca Tommasi and Daniele Marzoli from the University “Gabriele d’Annunzio” in Italy, are pretty clever.
Controlled laboratory studies have shown a preference for right ear dominance with the reasoning being that humans process verbal information more efficiently with their left brain hemisphere.
However, the researchers wanted to see if this crossed over into the real world.
In the first study, they looked at 286 night club visitors in their natural, “night club” setting. By just watching them talking, 72% of the interactions occurred on the right side of the listener.
In the second study, the researchers approached 160 night club visitors and mumbled total inaudible gibberish – then waited for the subjects to either offer their right ear or their left ear.
58% offered their right ear – 42% offered their left ear. [Interestingly, only women showed a preference here].
In the third study, researchers approached 176 people at a night club and asked for a cigarette (they approached half to the right ear and half to the left ear).
The result was that they obtained significantly more cigarettes when they approached people to the right ear!
(I don’t know if this is really positive or not. Maybe they need our smoking cessation CDS)!!!
According to the authors, the results were significant – although it would be interesting to get this confirmed by other studies.
However, not only is this an example of very clever science, the finding could help you with communication in a lot of ways.
Of course it might help you with persuasion, but it could also help you be heard when you are just talking to your spouses, friends, co-workers and children. You could also try listening with the right ear.
(Yes, listening is important too! You might find you are more receptive – who knows)?
I am going to experiment at work and at home, then report back. It would be really cool if anyone else wants to try it and then report back to me.