The southpaw spectrum & links to creativity…

Writing this article as a leftie, I always knew I was special – Mum always said it, but now the scientists have proved it! Discover more in a new study published in the journal Brain.

Left-handedness has long been associated with intelligence, out-of-the-box thinking, and artistic talent. But are these flattering generalisations backed up by science?

Does being left-handed really make you more creative?

The answer is definitely maybe.

No longer considered the work of Satan or witchcraft, southpaw studies indicate that the science behind left handedness is pretty complex.

Left-handedness is far less common than right-handedness. Studies suggest that approximately 10% of people are left-handed making southpaws pretty rare creatures. Males are 23% more likely to be left-handed making female lefties the rarest of them all!

Lefties are born rather than made. Genetics are partially responsible for handedness. It is assumed that hand preference comes from asymmetrical genes in the brain – two hands, two brain hemispheres and one dominance.

With purported links between left-handedness and things like mental illness, faulty immune systems, and criminal behaviour. Scientists continue to study whether lefties are better at problem-solving, and if they are more likely to die young!

The US Journal of Psychology previously suggested that left-handed people may be better at divergent thinking, a thought process used to generate creative ideas. Several studies found links between left-handedness and creativity, supported by the fact that left-handers live in a right-handed world.

In recent years, several studies concluded that it’s not your dominant hand that matters it’s the degree of dominance. According to researchers, very few people are truly entirely left or right-handed – it is more of a spectrum.

People toward the middle of the spectrum are found to be more flexible thinkers, more empathetic and better able to view things from other people’s perspectives with higher levels of emotional intelligence.

Inconsistent-handed people/mixed-handed (as researchers call them) are more likely to focus on risks, whereas people at the outer edges of the handedness spectrum pay more attention to potential benefits. They may even sleep differently.

Lefties are in good company with Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Paul McCartney, Prince William, Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga all famously making up part of the 10%.

So where are you on the handed-spectrum? And are lefties always right?!?!

Take this quick & simple handedness quiz to see just how left or right you really are – based on the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory the quiz determines left- or right-hand dominance in everyday tasks.

(Turns out that in my 42+ years living as a leftie I am only 88% left-handed. I blame the right-handed world I live in).

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