Script directionality affects depiction of depth in representational drawings

Jyotsna Vaid, Rebecca Rhodes, Sumeyra Tosun, Zohreh Eslami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


This research examined the influence of directional reading/writing habits on the representation of depth in a scene. Participants with English vs. Arabic language backgrounds were asked to represent an imagined scene containing two houses, a "near house" and a "far house." Nearly all participants drew the near house larger than the far house and drew the near house before drawing the far house. However, significant group differences in spatial strategies and movement biases were noted. Whereas the majority of native English readers drew the near house on the left side of the page and the far house to the right of it, native Arabic readers showed a slight right bias in placement of the near house and tended to place the far house to the left of the near house. This effect of script direction characterized right-handed and left-handed users of each group. Taken together, the findings support a cultural account of asymmetries in representational drawing reflecting biases arising from prolonged experience in reading and writing in a particular direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Depth depiction
  • Lateral biases
  • Manual preference
  • Script directionality
  • Writing habits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)

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