American Psychological Association

An American scientist has gathered new evidence on the link between left-handedness and intellectual creativity, confirming that "true left-handers" tend to be more intelligent and eloquent than right-handers, and better at solving problems.

An American scientist has gathered new evidence on the link between left-handedness and intellectual creativity, confirming that "true left-handers" tend to be more intelligent and eloquent than right-handers, and better at solving problems.

Dr Alan Searleman, from St Lawrence University, New York, presenting his findings to the American Psychological Association's annual conference, said: "Left-handers have a higher 'fluid' intelligence and better vocabulary than the majority of the population. This is perhaps why there are more of them in creative professions, such as music, art and writing."

Dr Searleman says that people who throw balls with their left hands, use their left eyes to look through peepholes and place their left ears against the wall to eavesdrop on conversations are twice as good at problem-solving and have wider vocabularies than their right-handed peers.

He enlisted 1,200 people formemory, vocabulary and problem-solving tests. They were asked questions including: Do you hold a match while striking it with your right or left hand? Which ear do you use to listen to another person's heartbeat?Which eye do you use to look into a dark bottle to see how full it is? He found that people who were "true left-handers", who did everything on their left side, from kicking a football to picking up a glass of water, scored one-third more highly on vocabulary tests and twice as well on problem-solving tasks.

People who were found to be "mixed", using both their left and right hands, ears, eyes and feet for different tasks, achieved the same scores as "true right handers".

The research also found that more left-handed people were intellectually gifted, with IQs over 140, Dr Searleman said.

On the downside, left-handers were not so good at remembering things. "Although left-handed people had poorer memories they were twice as good at all the problem-solving tasks," he said.

Despite the fact that one in 10 people is left-handed, it was once seen as a sign of the devil. The word "sinister" means "left" in Latin. Youngsters used to have their left hands tied behind their backs by teachers to force them to write with their right hands. Left-handed people have struggled for years in a world of right-handed sports equipment and items such as steak knives, cheque books and pairs of scissors.

Previous research has suggested that left-handed people are less ticklish than right-handed people, are more clumsy, and have a shorter lifespan.

Comments