Are left-handed people smarter?

Are left-handed people smarter?

It’s a fallacy that persons who use their left hand are smarter than those who use their right. 

Leonardo da Vinci and other left-handed geniuses have existed throughout history, but this is not indicative of a greater trend. In fact, the exact reverse is true. 

The idea that left-handedness might be associated with general intelligence (or any other cognitive ability for that matter) seems to be related to the fact that the origin of handedness has very little to do with the hands themselves. It is impossible to judge whether someone is a left-hander or a right-hander just by looking at the hands, as long as the person is not performing any action. Bones, muscles, tendons, and any other parts of the hands of left- and right-handers typically do not show any visible differences. Instead, the preference to use one hand over the other for fine motor tasks such as writing is caused by the brain. Thus, it is at least conceivable that genetic or environmental factors that influence brain development in such a way that someone becomes a left-hander might also affect the development of brain areas linked to intelligence.

In 2015, Dutch researchers aggregated the findings from more than 30 earlier studies involving more than 500,000 participants and found no correlation between handedness and verbal ability and a little right-handed advantage in spatial ability. 

Along these lines, it is not impossible that left-handedness and intelligence are linked. But are they really? Empirical studies show surprisingly ambiguous results. Some studies find that right-handers are more intelligent, while others find the exact opposite. Such differences between studies are not uncommon in psychological science and can often be explained by sample characteristics and the specific methods used to assess handedness and intelligence. Therefore, it is hard to determine the true effect by looking at single studies.

In fact, a recent study using data from tens of thousands of individuals discovered that left-handedness was more prevalent in those with very low IQs than in those with average IQs.

Although data suggested that right-handed people had slightly higher IQ scores compared to left-handers, the scientists noted that intelligence differences between right and left-handed people were negligible overall.

Your preference for one hand over another is thought to be a complicated trait impacted by a variety of variables, such as: 

environment, genetics, and chance 

Before birth, hand preference starts to emerge, and it continues to do so throughout a person’s life. 

According to researchers, the differences in brain development between the right and left hemispheres may be the cause of hand preference. Movement on the left side of the body is controlled by the right hemisphere, whereas movement on the right side is controlled by the left hemisphere.

Recent studies have also suggested that multiple genes, maybe even close to 40, are related to hand preference.

Children of left-handed parents are more likely to be left-handed than children of right-handed parents. But because lefties are comparatively rare, most children of left-handed parents are right-handed.

Cultural influences, environment, and prenatal exposures may also play a role in determining handedness.

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