Being a leftie can be extremely difficult for some since the world is literally built for right-handed people. Throughout history, people have viewed left-handedness as a sign of weakness that one had to overcome to be successful in life. Studies however, show otherwise. In fact, a 2006 study conducted by researchers from Lafayette College and Johns Hopkins University found that left-handed people earn 10% to 15% more than their right-handed counterparts. While there’s been a lot of theories as to why people are left-handed, scientists are still trying to figure out the exact reason as to why someone prioritizes one side over the other. Today, we are sharing some amazing facts about left-handed people and what makes them really special.
1. Left-handed people have the upper hand when it comes to one-on-one sports.
Scientists studying left-handed people found that when it comes to sports, lefties have an upper hand; especially at one-on-one sports like tennis, boxing, and pitching a baseball. According to a book, The Puzzle of Left-Handedness, linguist Rik Smits explains that this is because left-handed athletes train against right-handed opponents. So, when lefties play against right-handed people, they have an upper hand whereas righties are at a disadvantage. “They’re forced to engage in an asymmetrical battle for which they’re poorly prepared, against an opponent who’s a dab hand at dealing with this type of asymmetry,” he writes.
2. They are quicker thinkers.
According to an Australian study published in 2006 in the journal Neuropsychology, left-handed people tend to have faster connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain; which in fact helps them process information at a faster rate than righties. The authors of the study analyzed participants’ performance on a task and the transfer time between brain hemispheres. From the study, they discovered that left-handed participants were faster at processing information across the two sides of the brain; providing them with a cognitive advantage over video games as well as sports. (source)
3. Their brains organize emotions differently.
Studies show that being left or right-handed can determine how your brain processes emotions. In a 2012 study published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers found that in left-handers, motivation was associated with greater activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, while the opposite was true of right-handers. This means that left-handed people who suffer from anxiety or mood disorders have to be treated differently, since the neural activity is greater in the right hemisphere.
“Given what we show here, the treatment, which helps right-handers, may be detrimental to left-handers ― the exact opposite of what they need,” one of the study’s authors, psychologist Geoffrey Brookshire, said in a statement. (source)
4. Left-handed people are more creative thinkers.
Studies show that there is in fact a link between left-handedness and creativity. One research found that lefties are better at divergent thinking, and another found that the brains of lefties have a more highly developed right hemisphere, which is associated with more creative thinking. Experts also suggest that when lefties grow up, they develop what’s known as an “outsider’s mindset”, which helps them develop qualities like independence and non-conformity. This allows them to think differently, creatively and be more innovative. (source)
5. Left-handed people are more likely to be geniuses.
When it comes to mathematics, lefties brains are wired to favor them. Studies show that left-handers are better at problem-solving. Some of the most prominent figures in history, such as Marie Curie, Leonardo da Vinci, Mark Twain, Mozart, Nicola Tesla and Aristotle were all left-handed. It’s the same with US presidents – four of the past nine have been lefties’. Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world and Microsoft founder, is also a lefty. It is estimated that between 10% and 13.5% of the population are left-handed. A study conducted by the University of Liverpool also found that when it comes to mathematics, lefties have an upper hand. (source)
6. They are better at remembering things.
It is widely believed that left-handers’ brains are wired a little differently than their right-handed counterparts. According to a research by the University of Toledo, Ohio, left-handed people are better at remembering events because the right and left hemispheres of their brains are more closely connected. The study also revealed that cross-talks between the hemispheres may be important for remembering specific events, called episodic memory. (source)
7. Most left-handed people are born in late spring to early summer.
One study showed that most lefties were born between March and July in the northern hemisphere. Another interesting fact is that scientists and doctors are capable of predicting a person’s preferred hand even before birth. (source 1, 2)