Does the way you stand affect your ability to estimate?

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Does the way you stand affect your ability to estimate?

Don't stand like the Leaning Tower if you're trying to estimate how tall the Leaning Tower is. You'll be wrong.

Franco Origlia/Getty Images

If you're leaning a little to the left, you're also probably going to be a little on the low side when it comes to guesstimating all sorts of approximations. Whether that's how many people live in a certain city, how much alcohol is in a particular bottle of booze, how many top-10 hits a band has released or how tall a specific building is -- if you're tilted slightly to the left, that number is more likely to be less than what it really should be [source: Eerland].

Participants in a study at Erasumus University Rotterdam didn't even know they were tilted during the experiment. But with a tad tip to the right, the numbers were higher, and with a little lean to the left the opposite was true. Interestingly, the difference between when people were leaning right versus standing upright wasn't significant – perhaps because all the participants were right-handed. We need more science, stat!

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