Have you ever been accused of being overly analytical or do people say you’re too dreamy? These traits can be attributed to left brain or right brain type thinking.
At the end of this post, take the Alert Scale of Cognitive Style brain quiz to see if you are a left, right or middle brain thinker.
Artists and other creative people tend to be right-brain thinkers. Nevertheless, most our school systems appeal to left brain strategies which are still used in classrooms today.
Right-brain students sometimes leave their school experience feeling inadequate – did you?
Each of us has a right, a left or a middle-brain ‘neurological style’ preference in which we view the world. In the late 1960’s psycho-biologist Roger W. Sperry discovered the human brain has two very distinct ways of thinking. Although we have one brain, our brain has two hemispheres that sends messages back and forth to each other.
Typically, dominant left-brain thinkers will be more organized, they’ll watch the clock, and they’ll analyze information and process it sequentially. They are often cautious, and they follow rules and schedules. Left-brain students are strong in math and science, and can answer questions quickly.
- The right-side of the brain is intuitive and emotional. This hemisphere guides the decisions of the creative thinker that are made throughout the day. Right brainers are very intuitive and have great skill when it comes to seeing through lies or tricks. For instance, they would make great Survivor contestants.
- The left-side of the brain is sequential, time-oriented and tells one how to think and what to believe and what choice to make. Left-brainers can answer questions quickly, and are strong in math and science. These thinkers make great Jeopardy contestants.
- The middle-brain of the brain is more flexible than either the right or left. This person might be that uncommon Mathematician/Artist. But when it comes to decision making, middle-brain thinking people sometimes get confused because their brain bounces between the right and left preferences during decision making! However, these thinkers benefit from logic from the left and intuition from the right. Middle brain oriented people often excel in business, so they might do well on The Apprentice.
Don’t worry, we all use both hemispheres of our brains. But, it is a good idea to exercise and strengthen the weaker side of our brain. Crossword puzzles, research on a desired subject, or listening to a lecture will help stimulate the left side of the brain. The following list will help you understand your own right or left-brain thinking. By understanding the processes at work in our own brains, we can better understand how to enhance our individual choices and studio performance.
TRY THIS BRAIN QUIZ BELOW: from The Alert Scale of Cognitive Style, by Dr. Loren D. Crane, Western Michigan University, 1989.
Choose the one sentence that is more true. Do not leave any blanks. Remember, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to this quiz…
1. A ) It’s fun to take risks. B ) I have fun without taking risks.
2. A ) I look for new ways to do old jobs. B ) When one way works well, I don’t change it.
3. A ) I begin many jobs that I never finish. B ) I finish a job before starting a new one.
4. A ) I’m not very imaginative in my work. B ) I use my imagination in everything I do.
5. A ) I can analyze what is going to happen next. B ) I can sense what is going to happen next.
6. A ) I try to find the one best way to solve a problem. B ) I try to find different answers to problems.
7. A ) My thinking is like pictures going through my head. B ) My thinking is like words going through my head.
8. A ) I agree with new ideas before other people do. B ) I question new ideas more than other people do.
9. A ) Other people don’t understand how I organize things. B ) Other people think I organize well.
10. A ) I have good self-discipline. B ) I usually act on my feelings.
11. A ) I plan time for doing my work. B ) I don’t think about the time when I work.
12. A ) With a hard decision, I choose what I know is right. B ) With a hard decision, I choose what I feel is right.
13. A ) I do easy things first and important things later. B ) I do the important things first and the easy things later.
14. A ) Sometimes in a new situation, I have too many ideas. B ) Sometimes in a new situation, I don’t have any ideas.
15. A ) I question new ideas more than other people do. B ) I agree with new ideas before other people do.
16. A ) I have to have a lot of change and variety in my life. B ) I have to have an orderly and well-planned life.
17. A ) I know I’m right, because I have good reasons. B ) I know I’m right, even without good reasons.
18. A ) I spread my work evenly over the time I have. B ) I prefer to do my work at the last minute.
19. A ) I keep everything in a particular place. B ) Where I keep things depends on what I’m doing.
20. A ) I have to make my own plans. B ) I can follow anyone’s plans.
21. A ) I am a very flexible and unpredictable person. B ) I am a consistent and stable person.
22. A ) With a new task, I want to find my own way of doing it. B ) With a new task, I want to be told the best way to do it.
- Give yourself one point for each time you answered “A” for questions: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21.
- Give yourself one point for each time you answered “B” for questions: 4 ,5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18.
Add all points. Totals imply:
- 0-4: strong left brain
- 5-8: moderate left brain
- 9-13: middle brain
- 14-16: moderate right brain
- 17-21: strong right brain
I hope this information helps you understand what kind of thinker you are. Understanding your own thinking ‘preferences’ can help you be even more productive in the studio. You might also enjoy reading about ideas on how artists can improve their work habits.
***Thanks for visiting FineArtTips.com. You can meet me on my social media sites > Fine Art Tips Facebook Fan Page, on Twitter, Google Plus and on Pinterest. Be sure and check out and my fine art prints and notecards on Fine Art America. Or see my art on my website, LoriMcNee.com. ~Lori