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The Left-Handed-Creativity Myth

Are Lefties Really More Creative?

New research is weakening the old stereotype that lefties are more likely to be alcoholics. While lefties may drink more often, they aren't more prone to risky drinking. But I'm more interested in the most widespread left-handed stereotype — the creativity connection.

I don't know one left-handed person who isn't effusively proud of her left hand. Some will come right out and tell right-handed me they are more creative. But are they?

A 2007 paper in the Journal of Mental and Nervous Disease found musicians, painters, and writers are more likely to be left-handed, but it's not their left hand or their right brain talking. It's the balance of the two hemispheres — the right and left brains' ability to work together — which results in the type of innovative problem-solving that reads as creativity.


True lefties, the 20 percent of the left-handed with absolute right-brain dominance, are not any more likely to be creative than the righties. Most people who write with their left hands lack a dominant side of the brain, and this versatility gives them a creative advantage. Yet there's no reason the same trait couldn't be found in right-handers using both sides of their brains.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
Wow, I've heard of the thing about left-handed creativity, but I have never heard of the social stigma and punishment of left-handed children!! Unbelievable... I had no idea! I can't believe left-handed children were told they had the "devil" in them. I am right-handed, but I consider myself pretty creative. I've had a number of math teachers who were left-handed now that I think about it.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
Strange! I'd never heard the myth that lefties are more creative. I do know that when I broke my right hand and was forced to use my left, I came up with plenty of creative excuses to avoid writing, though. :D My lefty friends came up with plenty of creative ways to razz me for my horrible lefty handwriting, too. The few lefties I've known have been analytical, logical, and intelligent.
marcied23 marcied23 6 years
yeah, what was up with the "devil" being in the left hand. one of my friends went to catholic school and they used to hit his left hand when he wrote with it, so he was forced to be a righty, but now his righting leans to the left...
4evrfuzzy 4evrfuzzy 6 years
My brother is left handed and he is a computer programer. I'm right handed and I make and sell jewelry and paintings.
nikkisoda nikkisoda 6 years
@kurniakasih and @starbucks My Great Grandmother was also a lefty. In school the nuns used to slap her with their rulers and tell her that the devil was in left handed people. She was forced to become a righty.
starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
I have never even heard of this before, but I am right-handed and not really creative so maybe there's some truth to it ;) And kurnia, my mom someday decided she was a lefty and that it must have been her my grandma forcing her to use her right hand. She then decided to write with the left...didn't work out very well because she was in fact right-handed...What I'm saying with that is that it used to be very common to judge lefties!
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I've heard all this kind of stuff, but I've never really noticed a difference in left-handed and right-handed personalities.
marcied23 marcied23 6 years
i've always thought lefties were more creative, at least from my friends who are left handed usually tend to be more creative. i write with my right hand.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
I was born a lefty :( It was considered the 'bad' side/rude side where I came from and my mom basically forced me to not use my left hand, and only use my right hand. :sigh: But about the drinking is completely untrue. I don't drink (alcohol that is) because I don't like the taste or 'feel' of them. I was and will always be the only designated driver in the family (my husband drinks, and his side of the family as well). I like only water, tea, coffee.
nikkisoda nikkisoda 6 years
I'm a lefty =)
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