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The Mental and Psychological Ways Left-Handers Are Unique

Science By
Sandy Koufax Pitching
One of the greatest left-handers in baseball history, legendary pitcher Sandy Koufax warms up (Getty Images)

 

It hasn’t always been acceptable to be left-handed. Indeed, it was long a policy that schools would force lefties to use their right hand. While the students could physically learn to do tasks this way, it didn’t change their instinct to favor their natural hand. (A study of German students compelled to make their right hand dominant found: “Adult converted left-handers show persistent features of left-handedness during right-hand writing.”) Indeed, the Huffington Post‘s Carolyn Gregoire reveals that left-handed people and righties just differ in certain core ways. She writes:

“… lefties have comprised roughly 10 percent to 15 percent of the general population for many thousands of years. The fact that the trait has remained stable over many generations suggests that left-handedness is not an evolutionary weakness, as many psychologists of the past believed. But handedness does come with certain physiological and neurological differences.”

Among these distinctions? For one, research shows that, if confronted with two columns, right-handed people will instinctively favor items on the right. The left-handed among us, however, go with the left. This doesn’t seem jarring, except for the fact the dominant culture has told them their entire lives that, if you will, right is right. Yet their natural inclination to go left will not be denied.

Indeed, sometimes being a lefty may be a flat-out edge. This is true in baseball, where top pitchers have tended to be southpaws, from Lefty Grove to Sandy Koufax to today’s Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner. Yet there are also general edges, as studies have shown “left-handed participants were faster at processing information across the two sides of the brain—a cognitive advantage that could benefit them in things like video games and sports.”

To read the full article on HuffPo, click here. Learn more intriguing facts about lefties below.