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Right brain/left brain, right? - Harvard Health Blog

Right-brained or left-brained

Right-brained or left-brained

According to conventional wisdom, people tend to be either right-brained or left-brained. Those who are right-brained are supposed to be intuitive and creative free thinkers; they are big-picture thinkers. Left-brained people tend to be more quantitative and analytical. They pay attention to details and logic.

Although these ideas are widespread, they may also be wrong.

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Right brain/left brain, right? - Harvard Health Blog

Right brain/left brain, right? - Harvard Health Blog

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/right-brainleft-brain-right-2017082512222

health.harvard.edu

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Key Ideas

Right-brained or left-brained

According to conventional wisdom, people tend to be either right-brained or left-brained. Those who are right-brained are supposed to be intuitive and creative free thinkers; they are big-picture thinkers. Left-brained people tend to be more quantitative and analytical. They pay attention to details and logic.

Although these ideas are widespread, they may also be wrong.

Location

Some brain functions reside more on one side of the brain than the other. The left side of the brain control language and the right half control movement of the left arm and leg (and vice versa.)

But for more individual personality traits, such as creativity or a tendency toward the rational rather than the intuitive, there is little or no evidence supporting the claim that these reside in a specific area of the brain.

The right-brain/left-brain myth

The idea of right-brain/left-brain may be a myth as evidence is mounting against the idea.

A 2013 study demonstrated that activity is similar on both sides of the brain regardless of one's personality. The study concluded that the notion that some people are more left or right-brained is more a figure of speech than it is anatomically accurate.

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Left-brained or right-brained

People used to speak of being left or right-brain dominant (where the left brain is more logical and algorithmic, and the right brain more artistic and intuitive).

However, both hemispheres of your brain are involved in all of the complex work you do. The most effective thinkers are the ones who learn to rely on both their intuitive judgments as well as their reasoning.

Emotions and rational thinking

The theory goes that emotions reflect a more primitive form of thinking and that good thinking is only logical.

However, when faced with risky decisions, it is possible to talk yourself into almost anything. But, even a little anxiety in that situation can provide information too valuable to ignore.

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Early History

The connection between genius and possible insanity was first documented in 1891 in the Italian physicians’ book The Man Of Genius.

In 1869, this was taken up by the cousin of Charles Darwi...

Genius and Heredity

In a 1904 study by English physician Havelock Ellis, a list was made of 1030 individuals through extensive research, examining thoroughly the intellectual distinction people had by the various factors like heredity, general health, and social class.


These works established that genius minds are often hereditary.

Genetic Studies Of Genius

A body of work of Stanford psychologist Lewis M. Terman, was an in-depth multi-decade study of gifted individuals, and an attempt to improve the measurement of genius and its association with the degradation of mental stability. This also included an enhanced version of the French IQ (Intelligence Quotient) test.

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The genius

Genius is too elusive and too subjective to be easily identified. It requires too many traits to be simplified.

However, we can try to understand it by looking at intelligence, creativ...

Intelligence as a yardstick

Lewis Terman, who helped pioneer the IQ test, tracked over 1,500 Californian schoolkids with IQs above 140, which is the near-genius or genius mark.

40 after the study began, the researchers noted that a number of the study's participants struggled to thrive, despite their high IQ scores. Others tested for the study that did not have a high enough IQ, grew up to become renowned in their fields.

Creativity

Creativity is a part of genius that can't really be measured, but that can be explained to a certain extent. One sign of creativity is being able to make connections between seemingly different concepts.

The 'aha moment' that arises at unexpected times, like in a dream or the shower, often emerges after a period of contemplation. Information comes in consciously, but the problem is managed subconsciously, resulting in a solution when the mind least expects it.

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