Are you familiar with the “right brain, left brain” popular opinion? This idea says that there are two dominant sides to our brain, the right and left hemispheres, and each represents a certain set of characteristics. The prevalent thought is that the left brain is related to logic, analysis, and object oriented processing, while the right brain is about broad creativity and emotional processing.
The right brain is often associated with the ability to memorize faces, expressing and reading emotions, creating music, interpreting color, and using imagination and creativity. The left brain is associated with language processing, critical thinking, counting numbers, and reasoning. But is it true?
I bring this issue up because the right brain or left brain argument is not entirely accurate. You can call it pseudoscience at best, because there is some truth to the idea, but not what you think.
It’s mentioned in the Manifestation Miracle program when Mark Ling and Brooke Ryan were talking about pursuing your life purpose. It might make sense to pursue a career in music or theater for example, if you think you are a “right brain” person.
However, that thinking is potentially dangerous. You see, new research has found that our brain isn’t divided into two distinct parts that each have their unique functions. The brain works as one whole organ, and both hemispheres collaborate to process information and come up with the right choice. It was a study by Roger Sperry in the 1960’s that is responsible for making people like the idea that we have either a dominant right brain or left brain.
The Truth About Two-Sided Brains
The research was done to help relieve epilepsy patients, and found that each hemisphere of our brain is responsible for certain functions. This conclusion is accurate to some degree, as it is true that some functions happen in the left brain while others happen in the right side. But the distinction doesn’t ultimately influence our personality. We all use both sides of our brain to complete most tasks and achieve most goals.
A new study from the University of Utah discovered that there are no correlations between brain activity and personality, even though some specific actions showed more activity on one side of the brain than the other. Jeffrey Anderson, a professor at the University of Utah, says:
It’s true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain, but it would be highly inefficient for one half of the brain to be more active than the other half.Jeffrey Anderson
Professor Anderson’s comment makes sense, right? How would we be if one side of our brain was more “muscular” than the other? It would be similar to if we had a much larger right arm or left leg than the other. We would become very inefficient human beings that have difficulty getting simple things done.
It’s Easy to Believe the Sided Brains
Despite several other recent studies arriving to the conclusion that there is no dominant side of the brain, it’s easy for us to accept the idea that we are either a right brain or left brain type of person, because it’s a stupidly simple classification.
We navigate through our life and through society with its complex culture and rigid rules by using categories and classes. Being able to categorize a person and put them neatly into a “right brain” box or “left brain” box greatly reduces strain on our mental energy.
The danger of believing that you are either a right or left brain person is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you are a creative person, and not a logical one, then you will rely too heavily on your emotions and not on your reason, because you believe you are a “feeler.” You may become discouraged from pursuing a profession or hobby you love because you think you’re not a creative type.
I’ve been guilty of thinking that in the past. Other personality types that put people into categories are not accurate. They do have their usefulness, but they don’t describe the complete you. Therefore, I combine multiple personality descriptions to develop an accurate picture of my self, and I’m still gathering as much information as I can.
Unfortunately, even successful authors and personal development gurus follow the right brain left brain myth. Popular psychology is popular because it’s easy to digest and “fits” into a picture of the world we have in our minds. I’m here to inform you that though our brain does do certain activities on the right or left side, it doesn’t affect the personality type that we have. You are free to choose the path you want to take, whether it’s a creative path or a logical one, to manifest what you desire in life.