I’m left-handed, and I can say without a doubt that I am neither smarter nor more creative than my right-handed counterparts. But then, I’m only one very humble example in a cohort that includes roughly 10% of the human population. Given that handedness is rooted in a mysterious mix of biological, genetic, and environmental factors, scientists have long sought to better understand it. That includes studying the possible existence of a relationship between left-handedness and intelligence.
What have they found? In honor of International Left Handers Day, which is today, we revisited some of the latest research. Unfortunately for my fellow lefties out there, the findings may not offer the confirmation of superiority you were hoping for.
Consider these three meta-analyses out of the University of Athens. Researchers Eleni Ntolka and Marietta Papadatou-Pastou included 18 studies of IQ scores involving more than 22,000 people, part of a larger systemic review of 36 studies involving more than 66,000 people. Most of the studies in the review found pretty much zero difference in mean scores between right-handed and left-handed participants. In the meta-analysis that compared right-handers and left-handers specifically, the researcher did find that right-handers had the slight edge. Their mean IQ scores were just a tiny bit higher.