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left handers
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Are Left - Handed People More Creative?
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Are Left  -  handed People More Creative?

It is widely believed that “true” lefties feature greater creativity, are more intelligent and solve problems more effectively, comparing to “true” right-handed people. But when it comes to music, and arts generally, talent is often connected to creativity, so are left-handed people really more creative?

To answer this question, scientists have performed some interesting tests among a large number of individuals. These tests included some memory, vocabulary and problem-solving queries, followed by questions about which part of their body (hand, foot, eye, ear etc.) the individuals used most.

The results showed that the majority of “true” left-handed people (those who used exclusively their left part) had better scores on the problem-solving and worse on memory parts of these tests. Interesting enough were the achievements of ambidextrous people, whose scores on the above mentioned tests was the same as of the “true” right-handed people.

So left-handed people seem to be not so good at remembering things, but much better at solving problems.

What about creativity?

This is harder to answer, since there are not measurable factors of creativity -compared to memory, vocabulary or problem-solving skills that were approached by researches, as said before. Because of the lack of such tests, only theories, arguments and debates may arise, so let’s see the super-simplified of a debate between the “yes” and “no” sides.

Those who agree

As expected, the scientists who did the tests about the connection between the problem-solving skills and the “true” left-handness, are the greatest supporters: their conclusion, based on the test results, was that, since the problem-solving ability means finding new paths to solutions, this give the left-handers a great advantage to being more creative. In combination with their better vocabulary skills, this explains why lefties are better in professions related to arts and writing -they call it “fluid intelligence”.

A further explanation might be found in biology: our brain is divided in two sides (“hemispheres”), the left and the right. The latter is considered to be responsible for creative thought, as well as for the left-handedness.

Those who disagree

There are, of course, studies that conclude in the opposite side and one of them involved school performance among 5 year-old pupils. It showed that not only were the left-handed kids’ skills worse than the right-handed ones’, they also presented cognitive problems similar to those faced by prematurely born people.

The main argue on this test was that it took place among too young people to lead to safe conclusions. Interesting, though, is the fact that the scientists who did it are left-handed -which may lead us to believe they are objective enough to tell the truth.

Who is right?

(this is not a pun!)

In general, lefties are not always artsy. Right-handers Rembrandt and Van Gogh are two good examples.

Debates seem to be endless, though, concluding to even more conflicts: one scientist claims they can prove the superiority of left- (or right-) handed individuals with undeniable evidence, while the very next one cancels this theory by presenting their latest discovery. Truth is, none of these researches take into consideration people’s personality, which everyone knows that is created by family, school and personal background.

Apart from this, biologists’ explanation seems incomplete: thought process is too complex to be confined in only the left or right hemisphere of our brain. On the contrary, this mystery known as “brain function” is the result of a simultaneous action of the two hemispheres. So, left-handness doesn’t come from exclusively right-side thinking -therefore, creativity.

In conclusion, it may be wiser to think again if the hand (or side of the body) preference itself is connected to a person’s skills.


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