A POSSIBLE RESOLUTION TO THE PUZZLE OF OCULAR DOMINANCE
MISHLER, LEE DAVID
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Studies of ocular dominance have resulted in considerable practical and theoretical unclarity. Different researchers have frequently studied portions of the phenomenon rather than considering its varied aspects. The present study of eyedness was undertaken by accepting the fact of diverse findings among previous studies and then devising an approach which attempted to understand the issue by examining the relation between characteristics of the individual and task demands of different tests of eye dominance.;The sample consisted of 49 middle class, urban, fourth grade public school children.;Three frequently used monocular sighting tasks were employed to measure eye dominance. However, in this study sighting instruments were mounted on a tripod since handedness was a contaminating variable in determining eye dominance. Eye dominance was also measured using various binocular rivalry conditions.;Three hypotheses were tested and confirmed: (1)Physical eyedness was displayed on monocular tasks, (2)on defined binocular rivalry tasks eye dominance was differentially determined by social content, by induced set and by familiarity of stimuli and not by physical eye domiance obtained in the monocular condition, and (3)on a binocular rivalry task where the stimuli were of equal length, physical eye dominance was more effective than in the other binocular conditions. The results indicated that monocular sighting tasks only crudely tap physical eyedness because environmental influences are eliminated. In contrast, binocular tasks permit response to environmental features and eye dominance in these conditions is determined by some mix of physical eye dominance and task structure. Moreover, the various binocular tasks differed in demand and the degree of mix therefore varied. Most important, it was found that the binocular tasks were particularly sensitive to individual differences in strength of physical eye dominance. Therefore, binocular sighting tasks are a more sensitive measure of physical eye dominance than are monocular methods.;Educational implications of the findings were discussed with particular attention to claims of crossed dominance in reading failure.