Psychologists explain the awesome ways left-handed people are different to righties

Publish Date
Tuesday, 13 August 2019, 2:51PM

Happy International Left-Handers Day!

About 10 per cent of the population is left-handed. The rest are right-handed.

As we all know, until relatively recently, being left-handed was stigmatised with it being viewed as an abnormality or sign of weakness.

But, of course, there’s nothing wrong with being left-handed.

In fact, being a lefty comes with some pretty cool physiological and neurological differences ...

  • They are able to use both sides of their brain more efficiently: Lefties tend to have faster connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which leads to quicker information processing.
  • They might have the upper hand in sports: 25 per cent of Major League baseball players are lefties. Why? It may be because they tend to have faster reaction times, as a study found. Studies have also found that lefties seem to have an advantage in interactive sports, such as boxing, tennis and baseball ― but not in non-interactive sports, like gymnastics and diving. It’s possible that because of their different physical orientation and movements, lefties are able to throw off right-handed opponents, who are used to going up against other righties.
  • Their brains organise emotion differently: A study found that for lefties, motivation was associated with greater activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, while the opposite was true of right-handers. This has important implications in caring for anxiety and mood disorders, which are sometimes treated using brain stimulation to increase activity in the left hemisphere.
  • Lefties may be more creative thinkers: Many studies have suggested a link between left-handedness and creativity. Lefties are seemingly better at divergent thinking (the ability to think of many solutions to a single problem). Another possibility is that the brains of lefties have a more highly developed right hemisphere, which has been suggested to be more involved in creative thinking.

So lefties, start embracing these surprising perks!