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After talking to an English speaking chat friend a few days ago, I returned to this topic and searched for English online ressources about it. That is how I stumbled upon this Blog. I am 31 years and I have been confusing left and right all my life. I figured out the reason for that is something called the Ranschburg phenomenon only about two years ago. The online ressources on that are few, in English even fewer than in German. And still many people think, confusing left and right is some birth defect in the brain or a sign of low intelligence or paired with other weaknesses like for example dyslexia. If the reason for the confusion of left and right is the Ranschburg phenomenon (which is true for the vast vast majority), it is not. Although of course people who confuse left and right are not safe from having dyslexia or some other problems too and the Ranschburg phenomenon also explains most cases of other confusions like "there" and "their" or in German "das" and "dass" or east and west, gross and net and so on, it usually is stand-alone and usually only the names are confused, not the underlying concept. It is caused by the learning method teachers or parents use to teach left and right. Trying to teach children both at the same time or with too little time difference will very likely cause it. And although there is no brain damage and the explanation is so simple, it is almost impossible to overcome after the years pass. Unsurprisingly, most people who overcome it, had (still in childhood) some person or event set it right by teaching one direction only. It is common that people tell you stories like "I used to confuse it until I broke my left arm". The best way to avoid this is to teach only one direction until it has really sunk in. This is what I could find in English: If you can read German: So, please read about it and help avoid it. Best wishes.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2009 on Left-right Confusion at Dr. Metablog