Left-right confusion is the difficulty some people have in distinguishing the difference between the directions left and right. According to research by John R. Clarke (Drexel University) it impacts about 15% of the population. These people can usually normally perform daily activities such as driving according to signs and navigating according to a map, but will often take a wrong turn when told to turn left or right and may have difficulties performing actions that require accurate understanding of directional orders, such as ballroom dancing.
Most human cultures use relative directions for reference, but there are exceptions. The Australian Aboriginal people the Guugu Yimithirr have no words denoting the egocentric directions in their language; instead, they exclusively refer to cardinal directions, even when describing small-scale spaces. For instance, if they wanted someone to move over on the car seat to make room, they might say “move a bit to the east”. To tell someone where exactly they left something in their house, they might say, “I left it on the southern edge of the western table.” Or they might warn a person to “look out for that big ant just north of your foot”. Other peoples “from Polynesia to Mexico and from Namibia to Bali” similarly have predominantly “geographic languages”. American Sign Language makes heavy use of geographical direction through absolute orientation.[clarification needed] When speaking Mongolian, speakers will typically use the words for “front”, “back”, “left”, and “right” to mean “south”, “north”, “east”, and “west”, respectively.