Are you a lefty?
There are many theories on how being left-handed affects the way a person thinks. One theory divides left- and right-handed thinkers into two camps: visual simultaneous vs. linear sequential.
According to this theory, right-handed people are thought to process information using a “linear sequential” method in which one thread must complete its processing before the next thread can be started.
Left-handed persons are thought to process information using a “visual simultaneous” method in which several threads can be processed simultaneously. Another way to view this is such: Suppose there were one thousand pieces of popcorn and one of them was colored blue. Right-handed people—using the linear sequential processing style—would look at the popcorn one at a time until they encountered the blue one. The left-handed person would spread out the pieces of popcorn and look at all of them to find the one that was blue. A side effect of these differing styles of processing is that right-handers need to complete one task before they can start the next. Left-handers, by contrast, are capable and comfortable switching between tasks. This seems to suggest that left-handed people have an excellent ability to multi-task, and anecdotal evidence that they are more creative may stem from this ability to multi-task.
Right-handed people process information using “analysis”, which is the method of solving a problem by breaking it down to its pieces and analyzing the pieces one at a time. By contrast, left-handed people process information using “synthesis”, which is the method of solving a problem by looking at the whole and trying to use pattern-matching to solve the problem.
Ultimately, being left-handed is not an all-or-nothing situation. The processing styles operate on a continuum where some people are more visual-simultaneous and others are more linear-sequential.
Psychological Characteristics of Left-handed People Leadership. About 66% of American presidents in the last 30 years were left-handed men. Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Fold were all left-handed presidents. Barack Obama and John McCain are both left-handed. Quick thinkers. Studies have shown that lefties are “exceptional.” Australian research shows that left-handed people think more quickly when playing computer games or sports. Left-handed people also tend to earn more money.
Sexuality. Research from Canada reveals this interesting quality of left-handed people: they’re more likely to be homosexual. Mixed-handed people are more likely to alter their beliefs as they get new information, making them better able to see both sides of the story.
Personality Traits of Lefties
Independence: Some experts believe left-handed people are more independent because they’ve had to get along in a world that’s not made for them. Dr Peters says that lefties are “slightly more resistant to social pressures, to have more of an independent streak.”
Adaptability: Canadian research shows that left-handed people are more adaptable than right-handed people. That is, a lefty can use her right hand to do tasks much easier than a righty can use his hand. Left-handed people seem to be able to switch over more easily.
Generally, Southpaws are thought to be more flexible, highly intelligent, and more resilient than right-handed people.
Are left-handed people smarter than right-handed people?
“Well, in a way, left-handed people are smarter, and I’ll tell you why,” Dr. Oz says. “Left-handed people can deal with more incoming information that doesn’t come in an organized way.” Dr. Oz says this is because of the way the brain develops when a baby is in its mother’s womb. “The left brain normally controls your right side, which is really powerful,” he says. “[In left-handed people], it allows the other side, the right brain, to become an equal partner.”
Because left-handed people can use both sides of their brain more readily, Dr. Oz says, they can process information coming into their brain in different ways more easily. “That’s why athletes do so well when they’re left-handed. And there are a lot of presidents who have been left-handed, and there are a lot of folks who, because they can deal with a lot of complicated issues at once, work pretty effectively,” he says.