Left and right Brain Hemispheres – Which one is better?

Recently I just try to get deeper into brainy stuff. I am a little curious and I always try to understand although it is a little complicated. But after reading several papers and watching some interesting youtube videos, I sort of got the basic concepts of it. Furthermore I don’t really want to get too deep into the biological and psychological topics, but still I try to understand them at least a little. I guess it is also helpful for a marketer to know something about the functions of the brain since everything we do is always related to the brain. After all the brain is the organ which examines and evaluates all the stimuli from the outside environment. And I think a good proof for the necessity and existence of an understanding about marketing as well as the brain is the scientific field of neuro-marketing.

The two brain hemispheres in General

In this article I want to summarize the differences between the two brain hemispheres that are generally distinguished as left hemisphere and right hemisphere. It is widely known that the right hemisphere is a more emotional and the left more analyzing. 

Accordingly the right hemisphere deals more with visual activities, spatial perception and it tries to put many things together. This side of the brain makes you recognize face, it will tell you that you are listening to music; it also helps you to understand a picture and other images. Hence all this is related to intuition, emotion, nonverbal activities and creativity. 

The left hemisphere tends to analyze data collected by the right hemisphere. It is involved into linear thinking such as reading or applying language to something we saw. Moreover the left brain processes attributional information and aside from that, it tries to critically reflect what we see, that is to say, it is involved into reasoning processes as well. 

How the brain hemispheres interact together

It is very important to understand that both sides always interact with each other. The brain hemispheres constantly exchange and interpret information. The right brain may recognize a motorcycle and it says, “I recognize that this thing has got the shape of a motorcycle”. The same information will be send to the left brain hemisphere which adds more detail and of course language to it. After the right hemisphere saw something, the left is able to say something such as, “I know that motorcycle because my dad has got the same”. In order to properly notice an event in the environment both hemispheres must work together. 

What if you injured one of the two brain hemispheres?

In case of an accident you may damage your brain. But what happens to us if one hemisphere is severely damaged. People with a right sided brain damage are hardly able to recognize that their brain is damaged because the right side couldn’t collect any information for the left brain to analyze. Finally they have huge difficulties to process information. 

In an opposite case you are still aware of many things because the right side of the brain collects a lot of data. However you won’t be able to process complex problems and to cope with complex issues. The victims have trouble to remind sequences and usually they forget about thing. 

What is the basic difference between both brain hemispheres

The difference inside the brain is due to differences of the structural orientation of the neurons. On the right side the neurons are largely connected to each other and throughout the whole brain. In contrast, the left brain hemisphere has got lesser connections to other areas throughout the whole brain and with itself. However if creative thinking is involved, it is a misunderstanding that only the ride side of the brain is active. The brain always works as a whole, so does everything in our body. 

It doesn’t really matter whether you are left or right handed, you can be a creative person either way. Thus it is only a myth that the determination of your hands allows a derivation of your personality type. But still, it is true that the left and right brain hemispheres are more specialized to certain functions and only by working together, they are able to recognize the world in the way we do. 

Which side of the brain is in charge of which body side

It is to say that your left side of the body is controlled by the right side of your brain. Hence your right hand is controlled by your left brain hemisphere – the more analytical part – and vice versa. The same can be applied to the vision. Everything we notice with our right eye is processed by the left brain hemisphere (the analytical part) and all we see with the left eye is processed by the right hemisphere (the more creative part). But due to the connection of both brain hemispheres we are able to see a realistic picture of the world even with one eye.

I hope I provided a good overview of that topic and keep in your mind; there is neither the left nor the right hemisphere the better side of the brain. They are both of magnificent importance to us. 

Left and right sided brain marketing

Nonetheless I want to wrap up of what you should be aware of when we talk about the relation between the left and right brain concept and marketing. 

The right side of brain in marketing 
Viewing a TV program or looking at posters is considered an activity processed by the right brain (the more creative and nonlinear part). The whole process of storing the information into the brain seems to be a passive learning process, which is to say, that almost no active involvement can be measured. Thus TV is a passive learning medium and learning only occurs due to repetition. The repetitive exposure to TV commercials should lead to an attitudinal change of the observer. If the attitudinal change is directed by a favorable and positive opinion towards the product it will most likely lead to a purchasing decision. In this context, repetition is the key factor to success. For that reason you should always provide cues throughout your whole marketing campaign that make it appear consistent (e.g. use the same images, shapes and colors on your displays, packaging, billboards etc.) 

The left side of the brain in marketing. 
The left brain hemisphere is related to language and verbal information. This includes newspapers, magazines and other print media, which are also considered as high involvement media. Accordingly a left brain appealing advertisement should stress product information, the benefits or scientific proof. This will help the left hemisphere to collect the necessary information to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the product. Finally it is to say, an advertisement with information will of course stimulate the more cognitive area in the brain which also leads to a higher involvement and to a more reasoned purchasing decision. 

However it is important to emphasize again that the brain hemispheres do not work separately. There are always both sides involved when a customer is exposed to a certain message. But depending of the type of your target audience you can make your commercial more related to them by finding out whether they have a high or low need of cognition.