Mythbusters Series: Right-Brained vs. Left-Brained

hogan-mythbustersSorry folks, there is no such thing as being right-brained or left-brained. The myth that people’s personalities and skills are based on the dominant side of their brain has been the darling of the pop psychology world for years, spurring on the creation of numerous internet quizzes and facebook posts. But contrary to popular belief, there are not two archetype personalities based on which side of your brain is dominant.

According to research from the University of Utah, individuals do not show a more dominant functioning side of the brain. There indeed are specific functions that occur in separate hemispheres and areas of the brain, however research did not find any evidence for people being right or left-brained, or any other evidence that suggests personality stems from brain hemisphere dominance.

What does this mean? Well, it means we can finally break free from commonly accepted stereotypes surrounding the left-right brain theory. People postulating that “men tend to be left-brained and thus more analytical” and “women tend to be right-brained and thus more creative” are simply wrong. The excuse that you don’t understand math because you are “right-brained” is as preposterous as the excuse of the claiming you don’t understand modern art because you are “left-brained”.  If you think about it, this makes sense. The greatest composers must have a deep understanding of math in order to be able to make music. Likewise it would be difficult to deny the artistic qualities of the mathematical Fibonacci sequence in nature and art.

People seem to like classifying things into simple categories because it is easy. The dichotomy of the “artsy, creative right-brained type” versus the “analytical, data driven left-brained type” is simple and easy to digest. But life is rarely that simple. Research shows that there are more than just two types of personalities in the world, and that the differences between personalities do not change based on gender or ethnically/racially differences. Fortunately, you can use the Hogan assessments to accurately assess personality and paint a vibrant and nuanced picture of an individual’s personality in a fair and unbiased way.

Now, let’s go bust some other myths! Stay tuned for the next post in our Mythbusters series.