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International Left-handers Day: Five things that may surprise you

Thursday (Aug 13) was International Left-Handers day.

There is no day dedicated to right-handers.

Famous lefties include Barack Obama, Prince William, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey. 

So what are researches saying about being left-handed?

According to Mirror UK, The Guardian and Metro UK, these are some facts about lefties that may surprise you.

1. Higher risk of migraines, psychosis and alcoholism

Research shows that left-handed people are more prone to being alcoholics and having allergies and migraines.

Back in the 70s, psychologist Paul Bukan noted that among 47 patients in an alcoholism ward, seven were left-handed.

This figure is quite high, considering that about 10 per cent of the population is left-handed.

Similarly, Yale University researchers did a study with schizophrenic patients and found out that 40 per cent of them were left-handed.

2. More creative

But there are certain fields that lefties seem to excel in.

A lot of them have careers in the sports, arts and music.

Apart from being more creative, they are also better at 3D perception and thought processing.

Are they smarter too?

Researchers from New York have found that there are more left-handed people with IQs above 140 than right-handed people.

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."

3. Most things aren't made for their convenience

Left-handers have found out the hard way that the computer's mouse is indented for a right-hander's thumb.

For them, the keyboard also has the number pad on the wrong side.

Tethered pens found in banks and airports are a big frustration as well.

Apparently, the scissors, can openers, notepads and stringed instruments like guitars also favour right-handed people.

4. They get angrier more easily

Know someone left-handed who has a bad temper?.

A study from The Journal Of Nervous And Mental Disease showed that lefties are more susceptible to experiencing negative emotions.

The study found out that they have a greater imbalance in activity between their left and right brains.

5. They are more restrained

A study from Abertay University in Scotland showed that left-handed people are more "shy, embarrassed and anxious".

Out of 46 left-handed people and 66 right-handed people who were studied, they found that most left-handers agreed with statements such as “I worry about making mistakes” and “criticism or scolding hurts me quite a bit”.

Head researcher Dr Lynn Wright told BBC News: "Left-handers are more likely to hesitate whereas right-handers tend to jump in a bit more.

"In left-handers the right half of the brain is dominant, and it is this side that seems to control negative aspects of emotion. In right-handers the left brain dominates.”

 

Source: The Guardian, Mirror UK, Metro UK, BBC News

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