Krulwich Wonders… ‘Look at this guy. He is half-smiley, half-frowny. I drew the mouth carefully to make it equal parts sad and happy.
But when you look at him — take him in whole — would you say he’s having a good day or a bad day? Most people would say: good day. He seems a little more smiley than not.
That’s because, says science writer Sam Kean, when we look at somebody, the left side of that person’s face is more emotionally powerful and “determines the overall emotional tenor.”
So if his left side is happy and his right side is sad, left wins — the whole face feels happy-ish. What is equal is made unequal. It’s as if when I look at you, instead of taking you in with one visual gulp, I’m scanning your face from left to right and the left side feels more dominant.
Why would that be?’ (NPR).