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Critically Speaking

Jun 16, 2021

Most people use their right hand to perform various tasks like eating, writing, playing sports. But there's also a minority of people who primarily use their left hands for these things. Why are left-handed people left-handed? Is it genetic? Are their brains different? Are they smarter? Do they live longer or die earlier? Well, there's a lot of information about left handers circulating in social media, especially making all kinds of claims about left handed people. In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Clare Porac, one of the world’s experts in handedness, answer these questions. Dr. Porac has extensively studied a range of different aspects of handedness and lateral reality reflected by her several 100 academic publications and two books.


 Key Takeaways:

  • There are worldwide variations on handedness because there are cultural variations on handedness. Worldwide, there is about a 10% rate of left handedness.
  • When it comes to fetal thumb sucking, right thumb suckers tend to be right handed. Left thumb suckers do not have a correlation to handedness. 
  • If you want to switch your handedness, it takes practice, but it is possible to at least achieve a level of the other handedness. 
  • Do you really think left handers are more intelligent?  Live longer?


"The incidence rate of pure left-handers, people who do everything with their left hand,  is really quite low, probably below 5% of the population. Most left handers do something with their right hand. That could be because, their lateral reality is more fluid, since they are not strongly right-handed. Or it could be because they're adapting to a right handed world."
—  Dr. Clare Porac


Connect with Dr. Clare Porac:

Professional Bio:



Book: Laterality: Exploring Left Handedness 

Book: Lateral Preferences and Human Behavior 

Book: In Strange Places



Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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