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Are you Creative or Analytical?
Our brain has two halves – the right and the
left. People using left part of the brain are
usually logical and analytical. While those
who use the right half of the brain are
creative, innovative and imaginative.
Do you want to know whether you are right or
Read aloud, as quickly as possible,
the colour in which the words are written
but not the actual words.
GREEN YELLOW BLUE ORANGE
WHITE RED GREEN BLUE ORANGE
YELLOW WHITE GREEN RED BLUE
WHITE GREEN ORANGE YELLOW
ORANGE BLUE GREEN RED WHITE
YELLOW RED BLUE YELLOW
ORANGE RED WHITE BROWN WHITE
If you merely read the words,
you are likely to be using right brain.
Whereas, if you read the colours,
you are using your left brain.
I'm creative and he's analytical
Have you ever thought why some people can
paint beautifully, but have difficulty adding
two and two? Or why some people can
understand the intricacies of calculus
effortlessly, but struggle to write a one-page
It's all about which side of your brain
dominates - the left or the right.
Left Brain vs. Right Brain
The human brain is bifurcated down the
middle into two parts, popularly known as the
left brain and right brain respectively. We
know that different parts of the brain control
different bodily and mental functions.
Over the years, a theory that has gained in
popularity is that the right brain and the left
brain are responsible for different modes of
thought and that the way in which a person
thinks will depend on which side of his brain
Left brain vs. right brain
People who rely more heavily on the right half of
their brain tend to be more imaginative and
intuitive. They see things as a whole and are
interested in patterns, shapes and sizes. The
right brain is associated with artistic ability like
singing, painting, writing poetry, etc.
Left-brain dominated people may find their
thought processes vague and difficult to follow,
for they are quite opposite in the way they think.
Left-brain dominated people tend to be more
logical and analytical in their thinking and
usually excel at mathematics and word skills.
But this does not mean that a person who is left
or right brain dominated does not use the other
part of his brain. For most people, the two parts
of the brain work in tandem to enable them to
function as well-rounded personalities.
The right brain absorbs new information in
chunks, but it is the job of the left-brain to sift
and sort it in an organized fashion. However,
there is no clear-cut definition of the functions
of the two parts of the brain. Each can do the
other's work, just not as efficiently.
Most people have a tendency to lean towards
using the left or right brain while thinking or
learning. For instance, right brain dominated
people are often poor spellers as they tend to
rely more on their intuition rather than
actually studying the order in which the letters
in a word occur.
Academics and thinking
At the time of their birth, babies are not
predisposed to be either left brain or right brain
thinkers. Unfortunately, our education system
with its emphasis on rote learning and exam
syllabi is more tuned to encouraging left-brain
activity, often to the detriment of right brain
School examinations are designed to test left-
brain activity and encourage conformity in
thought. There is a possibility that if right brain
skills are not exercised, they may not develop
When it comes to academics, left brain
dominated children do well at school, as they
are more likely to respond to formal learning.
They exhibit greater responsibility, are quite
content to study by themselves and have
Right brain dominated children, on the other
hand, are less likely to perform well
academically. They prefer to study with
company, cannot sit still for very long and are
more responsive in informal settings.
Convergent and divergent thinking
Left brain and Right brain dominated people
can also be categorized as divergent and
convergent thinkers respectively. A convergent
thinker has a systematic approach and plays
by the rules. He analyzes everything and
reaches a logical conclusion. Thus, scientific
and mathematical activities are more up his
street. Such people do very well on
straightforward question and answer type
Divergent thinkers, on the other hand, are
creative and tend to throw the rules out of the
window. They are artistic and always looking
for ways to express themselves. They do much
better in exams that require essay-type
There is no such thing that it is better to be left
brain dominated or right brain dominated. You
need both kinds of thinking to function well.
While a person may have a dominant style of
thinking, it would be interesting to see how the
other half works and even learn to develop the
skills that you lack.
Left Brain Inventory Right Brain Inventory
Verbal, focusing on words, symbols, numbers Visual, focusing on images, patterns
Analytical, led by logic Intuitive, led by feelings
Process ideas sequentially, step by step Process ideas simultaneously
Words used to remember things, remember
names rather than faces
Mind photos' used to remember things, writing things
down or illustrating themhelps you remember
Make logical deductions frominformation Make lateral connections frominformation
Work up to the whole step by step, focusing on
details, information organised
See the whole first, then the details
Left Brain Inventory Right Brain Inventory
Highly organised Organisation tends to be lacking
Like making lists and planning Free association
Likely to follow rules without questioning them
Like to know why you're doing something or why rules
Good at keeping track of time No sense of time
Spelling and mathematical formula easily
May have trouble with spelling and finding words to
Enjoy touching and feeling actual objects (sensory
Left Brain Inventory Right Brain Inventory
Plan ahead Trouble prioritising. So, often late, impulsive
Likely to read instruction manual beforetrying Unlikely to read instruction manual before trying
Listen to what is being said Listen to how something isbeing said
Rarely use gestureswhen talking Talk withyour hands
Likely to believe you'renot creative, need to
be willing to try and takerisks to develop your
Likely to think you're naturally creative, but need to
apply yourself to develop your potential
How Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain Thinking
Curriculum--In order to be more "whole-brained" in their
orientation, schools need to give equal weight to the arts,
creativity and the skills of imagination and synthesis.
Instruction--To foster a more whole-brained scholastic
experience, teachers should use instruction techniques that
connect with both sides of the brain. They can increase their
classroom's right-brain learning activities by incorporating
more patterning, metaphors, analogies, role playing, visuals
and movement into their reading, calculation, and analytical
Assessment--For a more accurate whole-brained evaluation of
student learning, educators must develop new forms of
assessment that honor right-brained talents and skills.
Left Brain Teaching Techniques
Let’s say, for example, that you are introducing a unit on the
solar system. Here are some left-brain teaching techniques that
will help strong to moderate left-brain students feel engaged
during your lesson:
Write an outline of the lesson on the board. Students with left-
brain strengths appreciate sequence.
Go ahead and lecture! These students love to listen to an expert
and take notes.
Discuss vocabulary words and create a crossword
puzzle on the Solar System.
Discuss the big concepts involved in the creation of
the universe, how the solar system was formed, and so
on. Left-brain students love to think about and discuss
Assign individual assignments so students may work
Ask the students to write a research paper on the solar
system that includes both detail and conceptual
Keep the room relatively quiet and orderly. Many
students with left-brain strengths prefer not to hear
other conversations when working on a stimulating
Right Brain Teaching Techniques
Taking the solar system example, here are some right-brain teaching
techniques that will help students with moderate to strong right-brain
strengths get the most out of your lesson:
During the lecture, either write the main points on the board or pass
out a study guide outline that students can fill in as you present orally.
These visual clues will help students focus even though you are
Use the overhead, the white board, or the chalkboard frequently. Since
the students are apt to miss the points discussed verbally, the visual
pointers will help the students “see” and comprehend the points.
Have some time for group activities during the week of the solar
system study. Right-brain students enjoy the company of others.
Let the students create a project (such as a poster, a mobile, a diorama,
or paper mache planets of the solar system) in lieu of writing a paper.
Right-brained students often have excellent eye-hand coordination.
Play music, such as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Discuss
how space might feel to an astronaut. Students with right-brain strengths
are intuitive and like to get in touch with their feelings during the day.
Bring in charts and maps of the universe and let the students find the
Milky Way. Maps and graphs make use of the students’ strong right-
brain visual-spatial skills.
Maybe in a perfect world, right-brained teachers would be paired with
right-brained students and so forth, but in today’s academia, that may
seem like mere wishful thinking. It is true, however, that the educational
system needs attention in more ways than one. Those students who are
more right-brain dominant are not receiving adequate teaching in the
classroom. However, if teachers strive to reach every student, the
playing field can become more leveled.
The idea of left-brain vs. right-brain continues to be a controversial
subject in the scientific and academic world. As stated in the beginning
of this article, no one person is completely left-brained or right-brained,
but many tend to have a dominant side, and as both teachers and students
uncover the complexities of brain function, learning may become easier.