The life of left handed it is not easy.
Not too many years ago, preferably use the left hand It was frowned upon for the performance of daily tasks, to the point that some teachers tried to correct it using very little pedagogical techniques, such as tying this hand to force the children to use the right. Fortunately, those times are over, but the fact of belonging to a minority It continues to make the day to day of these people a nuisance in some situations.
Elbows when sitting at the table to eat or write with more people, the use of scissors and other commonly used utensils or ink stains on the sleeves are some of the annoying examples they have to go through. However, it is part of who they are and they are proud of it. And more proud they will feel after knowing this study; for, although it is not conclusive at all, it seems to elucidate a certain relationship between the preferential use of left hand and the math skill.
Why are some people left-handed?
As you know, each of the hemispheres of our brain is specialized in different tasks, so our skills depend on the side that we use preferably. There are people who use both in a more or less balanced way, while others use much more one than the other.
In addition to this, each hemisphere controls crusade one side of our body, so that the right hemisphere, control the movement of the left hand and vice versa. Therefore, it is clear that the minority of left-handed people uses the different hemispheres in a different way than right-handed people do.
The unknown biological causes that lead to this happening, although they do exist theories about a inverted distribution of different skills, which could lead to left-handers being better employed in some disciplines, such as mathematics.
Can you then be the best lefties in math?
As I was saying, there are several studies that try to give an answer to this question; but, although some try to show that it is so, the experimental results they are poor and insufficient to be able to argue clearly.
However, a recent study carried out by scientists from the Liverpoo UniversityHe seems to have found more reliable results than, despite still being insufficient, open the door to new more concrete studies that can finally answer this and other related questions.
How was the study that found the relationship between left hand use and math skills conducted?
The study was carried out with 2,300 children from Italy aged between 6 and 17 years old.
To begin with, they all had a test that studied the side of their body that they used preferably. The test used was the one known as Edinburgh laterality test, a very common test that determines whether a person is left-handed, right-handed or ambidextrous (if you are interested you can do it here).
Then they also had to solve a series of math tests mainly composed of questions from Algebra and problem solving.
After analyzing the results of both tests taking into account other factors such as age or sex, the researchers concluded that the correlation between mathematical skills and preferred laterality occurred in a 5-10% of cases, while in the rest there seemed to be no clear association.
In addition, they verified that the age It had a lot to do with the results, since in young children they did not find any type of relationship, while in the case of teenagers I know that they observed a majority of left-handed skilled in mathematics, compared to right-handers.
Are these results conclusive?
The answer is clearly that not. Results are a lot clearer than those known so far, but that does not mean that they are conclusive.
In fact, at the moment it has only been exposed at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society and it needs to be published in a peer-reviewed magazine.
In any case, if other more revealing studies are carried out from it, an answer could be found to why the prevalence of 10% left-handers in the population.
And you? Are you left or right handed?