Porn, products and baby names — the QWERTY keyboard influences everything

Porn, products and baby names — the QWERTY keyboard influences everything

QWERTY, the most common type of keyboard, might just be one of the most influential pieces of technology of the last century.

David Garcia, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and Markus Strohmaier of the Leibniz Insitute for Social Sciences, analyzed millions of product names and titles from 11 popular websites and determined there was “robust evidence” of the “QWERTY effect” on nine of the 11.

Put simply, the “QWERTY effect” is a theory that items with more letters on the right hand side of the keyboard are more popular than those on the left.

The theory proved true on nine of the 11 sites tested, including Amazon product ratings and even PornHub video ratings. One site tested neutral, and another — porn site Redtube — showed the opposite to be true, people ranked titles with more left-side letters higher.

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The next logical step is to see if handedness is the reason, thereby proving Redtube as the porn site of choice for lefties, and PornHub as the preferred site of their right-handed counterparts.

The QWERTY effect seems to influence our thoughts on rating products, but the study couldn’t find any conclusive link between our purchasing habits and right or left side-dominant product names.

While it sounds a bit far-fetched, the paper was presented at the 25th International World Wide Web Conference this month — a conference with a peer-reviewed selection process.

Not studied, but lining up with the theory, is a 2014 paper that found baby names with more right-hand side letters became the popular choice after the QWERTY keyboard became standard in the 1960s.

via Quartz

The QWERTY Effect on the Web on Arxiv

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