qwerty effectBefore you start reading this text, look carefully at the keyboard of the computer you are using right now. Pay more attention to the left side, just under the key “1”. These first letters of the keyboard from left to right: Q, W, E, R, T, and Y have given name to the so-called “Qwerty effect”.

British and American scientists found out that people prefer words consisting of letters located at the right side of the keyboard than at the left one. It has to do with the effect that the keyboard has on the brain reaction to words. People react more positively to the words that are written with letters from the right side of the keyboard. In contrast, words with letters from the left one provoke more negative emotions.

This effect, which appears to come from the keyboard itself is called “Qwerty effect”. One possible explanation, according to scientists, may be the fact that it is somehow easier to type with your right hand, even if you are left-handed. If you mentally divide a keyboard in two zones, on the right side there will be fewer letters, so the brain subconsciously finds it less difficult to choose one of the keys. And something easy is always taken more positively by our mind, than something difficult and complicated.

Thus, the researchers asked volunteers to rate various words and, to their surprise, found out that in all the cases people react more positively to the “right” words than to the “left” ones. Indeed, volunteers spoke several languages including English, Spanish and Dutch. The researchers pointed out that first of all this phenomenon should be taken into account by those who invent names for new products in order to choose the most favourably accepted name.

Of course, this phenomenon can apply only to societies and people that have become familiar with computers, so, without even realizing it, they give positive or negative sense to words, depending on the side of the keyboard that is used to type them. It is not a coincidence that the more recent is a word created in the era of new technology, the more pronounced is the effect of the “Qwerty effect”.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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