Have you ever tried to write with our left hand? And even wondered why some of you friends are left-handed? Being left-handed is rare, with left-handers making up only 11% of the population.
There are so many myths associated with being left-handed. Let’s have a look at some of them:
1. People who are left-handed are mostly creative
I’ve always heard people associate being creative with being left-handed. Some are quite analytical, and there are many right-handed people who thrive in creativity. According to a study done by Ronald Yeo, PhD professor of psychology at the University of Texas, there was simply not enough evidence to state that creativity is associated with being left-handed. It must be noted, however, that studies of this nature are not exhaustive and there is always room for alternative opinions.
2. Left-handed people are leaders
In America, six of the last 12 US presidents were left-handed. This is an interesting fact however, leadership skills have nothing to do with which hand you write with. It is not a qualification for leadership.
3. Left-handed people are more intelligent
A study from the 70s examined 7,000 children and found no difference in intellectual ability between left-handers and right-handers. However, left-handed people have to adapt from a young age in order to use basic things like a pair of scissors, as the world mostly caters for right-handed people. This has caused thinking flexibility with left-handers. Again, it’s important to note that this is one study with a limited sample group and there may be other studies with other findings.
4. Left-handed people are introverted
A 2013 New Zealand study found no difference across any of the five personality measures tested between left-handers and right-handers. People do have a perception that left-handed people are mentally inferior, which makes them introverted, this is simply not the case.
5. Left-handed people are “right-brained”
98% of right-handed people are left-brained and so are 70% of left-handed people, according to Dr Gina Grimshaw. People assume that left-handed people have reversed brains, but this is not true, as many people assume that because most right-handed people use the left hemisphere of the brain to process language, that left-handed people think with the right side of the brain.
Now that we know a little bit about myths, I will mention two interesting facts that are indeed linked to being left-handed.
1. Left-handed people have more problems with sleep
A small study in the journal Chest monitored the rhythmic limb movements of right-handers and left-handers while they slept. 94% of left-handed sleepers had limb movements compared to just 69% of right-handed snoozers.
2. Left-handers may be more likely to experience mental disorders
A study done in America showed that among people suffering from mental illness, those with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia were much more likely to be left-handed than those with mood disorders like depression or bipolar disorder, according to a study from Yale University. Researchers studied a small group of individuals from an outpatient psychiatric clinic and found that 40% of those with schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder were left-handed. To be clear, these results may be more specific to the American context and again, it is not always safe to generalise the results from only one batch of research.
Back in the middle ages being left-handed was associated with witchcraft. A left-handed person was socially not accepted and was considered an outcast. Today, society is accepting of left-handers as the ignorance disappeared.
Did you know that Africans are natural-born mathematicians? Read more here.
Tell us: What have you learned about being left-handed?