Asymmetry of cognitive functioning as a possible predictor for vocational counseling and personnel classification

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Neuropsychological research indicates the asymmetrical functioning of the cerebral hemispheres. The right hemisphere appears to specialize in global, synthetic, spatial, time-independent processing, whereas the left hemisphere is dominant in analytic, verbal, sequential, time-dependent processing. It is proposed here that in tasks, jobs, and occupations entailing hemisphere-specific abilities, personnel with superior functioning of the relevant hemisphere would perform more proficiently. A test battery designed to assess hemispheric dominance was administered to two groups, Economics and Arts students. Significant differences in mean performance were found between groups, as predicted. The findings suggest that the identification of individual patterns of hemispheric specialization may be useful for matching people's abilities with job demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-317
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1983

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank H. Gordon, University of Pittsburgh, for introducing me to some of the issues developed in this paper, and for permission to use the test battery; R. Epstein for conducting the tests; B. Nachmani for statistical analysis; and M. Weinberg for assistance in the preparation of the manuscript. The financial support provided by the Faculty of Social Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Haifa is gratefully acknowledged. Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. Itzhak Harpaz, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel 31999.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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