Left-Handed People

New research published in Live Science [1] claimed that the humans have been predominantly right-handed for over 500,000 years, however, left-handed people make up 10 percent of the population, undoubtedly making them the odd ones out. There has been lots of research into why some people prefer to use their left hand rather than their right and alongside some brain evidence showing differences between the two, some evidence also shows it comes down to a complex collaboration between the social environment and inherited genes.

1. Left-Handed People Are More Likely to Get Angry

A paper [2] has been published to say that whether you’re left-handed, right-handed or ambidextrous can be a hint as to how your brain processes emotions. In the field, it’s been known for a while that left-handed people are more prone to negative emotions and the study shows that they have a greater imbalance in activity when processing emotions in the left and right sides of the brain.

2. Being Left-Handed Can Determine Health Factors

A study published in Pediatrics in 2010 discussed how being left-handed is linked to an increased risk for dyslexia, ADHD and some mood disorders. Whilst research hasn’t yet been done to explain why this is the way it is, experts suggest it’s down to the brain’s structure and whether or not the individual has one dominant half of their brain. Around 30% of left-handed people don’t have one dominant half of their brain and this is more likely to result in learning difficulties and brain disorders.

3. Left Equals Good

Left-handed people associate ‘left’ as being a good thing, since they use their left-hand dominantly for activities and since they can’t do as much with their right hand, they associate this as ‘bad.’ A recent study[3] carried out by Daniel Casasanto, a Stanford researcher, asked participants to draw a zebra in the box that represented good things and a panda in the box that represented bad things. Left-handed people were more likely to put the panda in the right-hand box and the zebra in the left-hand box, showing their association with bad being things on the right.

4. They’re More Creative

The American Journal of Psychology published an article in which it was explained that left-handed people are more creative than right people when it comes to certain creative tasks. Divergent thinking, for example, is one area left-handed people excel in when compared to right-handed people. In addition, the Left-Hander’s club [4] carried out a survey that found that left-handed people were more likely to follow careers in the arts, music, sports and information technology – proving that the dominant left-hand is the more creative.

Plenty of studies delve into this area and it’s fascinating to see how something as simple as the hand you write with can influence personality, emotion and even career and picking up little facts from each study is interesting too. Are you left-handed or right-handed?


[1] http://www.livescience.com/13951-neanderthals-hand-dominance-language.html

[2] http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/Abstract/2010/09000/Negative_Emotional_Valence_Is_Associated_With.15.aspx

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19653795

[4] http://www.left-handersday.com/index.html

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I'm a psychology student with a passion for books, good food and movies. I can often be found reading self-help articles snuggled up in bed with a cup of coffee or writing about anything and everything in a quiet cafe somewhere.