The effect of investigator gender on lateral tympanic membrane temperature

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The measurement of tympanic membrane temperature (TMT) using hand-held infrared devices is common in both clinical and experimental research. However, the role that measurement context has on TMT has been overlooked. In the present investigation 94 women and men had their right and left TMT measured by either a male or female investigator. Regardless of participant's gender, when measured by a female investigator the right TMT was significantly lower than the left TMT. When measured by a male investigator, both male and female participants had similar right and left TMT. These lateral TMT results correspond with neuropsychological theories regarding threat appraisal.

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Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition