About 1 in 10 people have left-handedness. This group has been shrouded in mystery.

Left-handedness is a trait that has been blamed for evil, wickedness and unluckiness throughout history. It’s also associated with illness, mental disorders, and shorter life spans.

In recent years, mysticisms about left-handedness tended to go in the opposite direction. They claimed that lefties were more intelligent, creative and successful.

The truth is, as always, more complex and fascinating than these extremes.

Development of Handedness

The fetus in the womb shows a preference to use one hand rather than the other as early as 15 weeks following conception. The fetus will move their right arm more often than the left, and will also suck more on the thumb of the right hand.

The handedness of a toddler will become apparent by the time they reach the age 2 or 3. As the child begins to interact with the world, they begin to handle toys, tools and utensils more carefully.

The Asymmetrical Brain

The brain is not perfectly symmetrical. The two hemispheres of the brain are not exactly mirror images. They have subtle differences, both in terms of how they process and perform information.

These differences are often oversimplified and misunderstood.

It is common to hear that people who are “left-brained”, are logical and analytical.

Contrary to the popular belief that the left hemisphere of the brain controls linear, logical thinking and the right hemisphere is responsible for creative, nonlinear thinking; most thinking involves multiple parts of the mind working together .

Many people have noticed that gifted musicians and artists, chess masters, mathematicians, and chess players are slightly more left-handed than the rest of us. It’s possible that this is true, but it seems to be a small difference, and the reason for it may not be due solely to handedness.

Several studies have examined the relationship between intelligence and handedness.

There does not appear to be a statistically significant difference between the IQ for left-handers and right-handers.

There may be noticeable differences between left-handers’ and right-handers’ performance when measuring certain types of intelligence and cognitive abilities. Left-handers, for example, seem to perform better in tests that measure divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is a form of thinking which allows the generation of innovative ideas and solutions.

It’s important to remember that these differences are small, and the results from different experiments can often be contradictory. The results of different experiments often contradict each other.

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