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Left-brained or Right-brained?

September 5, 2012 / Posted by in Blog

Have you ever wondered why some people have certain talents or skills in specific areas, while others have strong abilities in other subjects? This is because each side of our brain controls a different type of thinking. Dominance of one side, either left or right, means that people process things a certain way.

Typically, those who are left-brain thinkers tend to be more analytical, logical, and impartial. This is why some people are able to remain interested and focused as a math teacher explains complex equations for hours, while other classmates lose focus and, instead, doodle their dream house. In contrast, the right-brain thinker is said to be intuitive, creative, and artistic. While the left-brain thinker may be fighting off boredom during a class lecture in history class on 18th century society and cultural attitudes, the right-brain thinker is most likely absorbing it all. Different parts of a brain hold different abilities and skills. Basically, a brain is divided into two hemispheres that store different talents and information. People use certain parts of their brains more than others, which is why people are skilled in unique ways.

Right-brain thinkers are said to do most of their thinking based on emotion, while the left-brain thinker relies more on actual facts. This theory is based on the work of Roger W. Sperry, who discovered the left and right brain differences while doing research on epilepsy.

A hemisphere is responsible for different types of thinking. The left side of the brain is typically considered to be adept in comprehending tasks that involve logic, language, and analytical thinking. The right brain is considered to possess creative and intuitive abilities. Going further, some people argue that there are left-brain dominant reactors; these reactors respond and adapt to the environment around them, while people who are right-brain dominant, try to control the environment around them.

The left-brain processes information in a linear manner and can accomplish tasks in order. Left-brain thinkers can pick up on details and piece them together to finish the big picture. Right-brain dominant thinkers, on the other hand, want to see the big picture first and then break down the details afterward. They also prefer to be hands on with learning, such as completing labs to see how and why things work from experience. Left-brain dominant thinkers can simply read about a subject and can understand from that.

According to Sperry’s findings on brain dominance and the characteristics attributed to each side of the brain, those who are right-brain thinkers tend to do well in creative or expressive fields. These individuals usually do well as writers, artists, musicians, and other fields that require self-expression. Subjects right-brain thinkers usually do well in are: history, English, art, and music. Students tend to study more effectively if they write down directions to review as needed, use outlines and graphs to stay focused, categorize information for better comprehension, attempt to complete most tasks before starting another, and choose when possible to do personal essays instead of analytical ones.

Those that are left-brain thinkers usually excel in math and science. They are methodical and do well in conducting research. Information and excess data does not overwhelm these individuals. In fact, numbers can be said to be their language. Fields they do very well in are in Engineering and Architecture. And they tend to prefer to work alone.

Having a better understanding of which side of your brain is dominant, can lead to finding more effective ways to learn and study. It can also help determine what career path to look into as a student. Keep in mind that no one is believed to be totally left or right-brained. Just like people are either left or right-handed but use both, one side of people’s brains is dominant; however, both hemispheres are used on a daily basis.

So how do you know which is your dominant side? Take a fun quiz such as this one to get a better idea. Knowing which side of your brain you tend to process information more readily can lead you to learn about what learning methods are most efficient for you!

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