Feb. 12, 2003 - This Valentine's Day, are you going to kiss the "right" way? If you're like most people, the answer is yes. But before you take too much credit, know this: Even in the womb, you were doing it right - or at least turning that way.
A new study in the Feb. 13 issue of Nature delves into this phenomenon -- whether people tend to turn to the right or the left when that big moment presents itself.
In fact, during the final weeks in the womb, most babies develop a preference for turning their heads to the right, writes Onur Gunturkun, a psychologist at the University of Bochum - Ruhr in Germany.
This sets up a "bias" for head-turning and other behaviors that last into adulthood, he says.
To prove his point, Gunturkin observed 124 kissing couples in airports, railway stations, parks, and beaches across the U.S., Germany, and Turkey. Twice as many turned their heads to the right to kiss rather than to the left, he reports.
Of the 124 kissing pairs, 65% turned their heads to the right. The others turned to the left.
Right-kissing is likely part of a pattern of "sidedness" that is linked to favoring the right foot, ear, or eye -- even though these do not become established until long after the newborn head-turning preference has disappeared, he adds.