Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 77–83 | Cite as

Torque, lateral preference, and cognitive ability in primary-grade children

  • Corwin Boake
  • Paul G. Salmon
  • Gregory Carbone


It has been suggested that torque, the tendency to draw circles in the clockwise direction, is related to left-handedness and is a marker for psychopathology. Results of recent studies conflict with this hypothesis hut are weakened by imprecise definition and unreliable assessment of torque. Measures of torque, lateral preference, and cognitive ability were administered to 181 children in kindergarten and first grade. As reported previously, rate of torque decreased with age and was greater among males. Children with complete clockwise or counter-clockwise circling at both assessments differed in pattern but not in overall level of cognitive ability No differences were found in strength, direction, or concordance of hand and foot preference. Results of this and other studies are seen as inconsistent with proposals that torque is symptomatic of psychopathology.


Torque Cognitive Ability Clockwise Direction Lateral Preference Imprecise Definition 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Corwin Boake
    • 1
  • Paul G. Salmon
    • 1
  • Gregory Carbone
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleUSA

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