Thursday, 23 February 2012

What does it mean to be left or right handed?/The advantages and disadvantages

The vast majority of the human race of right handed, 90% to be a bit more accurate, so what does it mean to be left handed?

Personally, I'm left handed, it causes complications in everyday life, from nudging the person next to you constantly while you're writing to choosing a decent guitar (Most are built for right handed).

You may think that it doesn't really matter, but being right handed or southpaw both have their advantages and disadvantages!

The two sides of the brain
You may know that your brain is spit into two halves, the left and right cerebral hemispheres (fancy word for left and right half). They are mostly equal but with a few exceptions

The left half's specialities

  • Controls speech
  • Responsible for language skills, logic and reasoning
  • Responsible for numeracy skills
The right half's specialities
  • Poetic ability
  • Creativity
  • Art appreciation
  • Athletic ability
  • Music ability
The right hemisphere controls the left half of the body, and the left half of the brain controls the right half of the body, pretty weird right?

Why are most people right handed?
It's not entirely clear right now, but loads of theories have been proposed. One of the most likely is that our ancestors so happened to use their right hand, and therefore the adaptation has been passed down as children want to become like their parents.

Another proposes that left handedness is actually caused by brain damage during early birth, while there is some evidence to back this, more goes against it.

Religion plays a role in determining the handedness of someone
In some religions right handedness is deemed to be superior.
  • Jesus was said to be at God's right hand, so Christians tend to lean to right handedness
  • The left hand was used to be known as the devil's hand, which could have swayed people away to right handedness
  • In Hinduism, the left hand is not allowed to be used for ceremonies or even eating food.

Advantages of being left handed (this ones goes first because I'm left handed!
  • Sport, most people are right handed, so they're used to playing with right handed people, if they go against a southpaw player, they are less prepared
  • Higher IQ, (I'm not making this one up!) is correlated with a higher IQ. 20% of Mensa, the group for people with a really high IQ (Top 2%) are left handed, which seems to correlate if you consider only around 10% of the human race are left handed.
  • Left handed people see better underwater, they adapt to the blurriness better. So if you are a southpaw, you have the upper advantage if you are swimming without goggles!
  • Better at video games, because the right half of the brain controls the left hand, the person has more creativity and nimbleness, giving them the upper hand at video games.
Advantages of being right handed
  • Most things suit you, because 90% of the world is right handed, everything is made for a right handed person
  • Better analogical thinking, language skills and mathematics capability.
  • You don't smudge your pen while writing! (This one really annoys me as whenever I write in ink, I leave a trail of smudges)
  • Tend to be more organised and to things in an order
Be aware though, that practice plays a huge role into whatever you're doing, being left handed doesn't mean you'll go to the Olympics and being right handed doesn't mean you'll be the next Einstein! 


  1. This is actually very interesting, we are dicussing this in psychology at school, good research.

  2. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future itll do even better in those areas, but for now its a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music TrackR bravo and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPods strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  3. even in Islam people have same concept of using left and right hand.when i was young i felt comfortable using my left hand eating writing but my mom is very pious she made me change the habit and use right hand.She said left hand is devil hand.If i use left hand then i am worshiping devil.For me i have more strength in my right hand than left overtime i workout i do lifting my left hand get tired faster.