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There are 2 definitions of ambidexterity: equally skilled with both hands; and highly skilled with both hands. The second definition, the one that's a more useful trait, is the one used in this article. Strictly speaking, how high somebody's ambidexterity for an action is is defined to be how skilled they are at doing both that action and its mirror image.

The higher the skill someone can do a task with with either hand, the higher their level of ambidexterity. If someone is equally skilled at doing a task with one hand as the other, making the skill in one of their hands even higher won't remove their ambidexterity; it just won't increase their level of ambidexterity. If after that, they also train their other hand to gain skill, then they will have even higher ambidexterity because the skill of which ever hand has less skill will be higher.

Most writers have no writing ambidexterity because they can't both write normally with one of their hands and mirror write with their other hand. Once someone trains themself to mirror write with the opposite hand than they use to write normally, they have super low writing ambidexterity if the writing with their non-dominant hand isn't very neat. The more they train their nondominant hand to write, the higher the higher the writing ambidexterity they will have, until the writing skill of their nondominant hand pasees that of their dominant hand, then their writing ambidexterity will get no higher unless they also train their originally dominant hand. Actually somebody is defined to have writing ambidexterity iff they either have righty-writing ambidexterity or lefty-writing ambidexterity. Righty-writing ambidexterity is the ability to both write normally with the right hand and mirror write with the left hand and lefty-writing ambidexterity is the ability to both write normally with the left hand and mirror write with the right hand. Therefore, no matter how neat somebody can write normally with both their right hand and left hand, they don't have any writing ambidexterity if they can't mirror write with either hand.

Causes

There are 2 competing tendencies in young children, the tendency for the difference in skill between hands to multiply exponentially and the tendency for it to divide exponentially. Ambidexterity occurs when the tendency to divide exponentially exceeds the tendency to multiply exponentially. When a child reaches for an object, either it's far enough to their nondominant side to favor reaching it with their nondominant hand or it isn't. The strength of their handedness determines how far on their nondominant side it has to be to favor reaching it with their nondominant hand. Each time they reach it with their dominant hand, they increase the skill in their dominant hand but the difference in skill between hands also determines how much more then 50% likely the object is to be placed in a position that favors their dominant hand creating an exponential runaway effect of the difference in skill between hands. On the other hand, the tendency to reach for the object with which ever hand is on the side the object is on creates a tendency for the difference in skill to divide exponentially, which for some people exceeds the tendency to multiply exponentially.

Training

Some people think people who are ambidextrous are naturally ambidextrous and so can't do anything to become ambidextrous. Others know that it can be trained. The best way to become highly ambidextrous is to refrain from using your dominant hand entirely for all tasks that you used to only do with your dominant hand such as writing and eating with a spoon.[1] Although some people are capable of training themselves to have a higher level of ambidexterity than other people, it turns out that for each person, becoming ambidextrous according to the first definition is what would maximize their level of ambidexterity according to the second definition because the more time they spend training one hand, the less time they have to train the other hand.

It's even useful to train yourself to do all tasks the mirror image way from the way you're used to for the following reasons:

  • Skill somewhat transfers from one task to another task
  • It builds up the general skill of increasing the transfer of skill of any task to the skill of its mirror image[2]

Advantages

Ambidexterity is advantageous in snooker[citation needed] and basketball because it avoids awkward angles.[3] According to http://www.firefighternation.com/article/extrication/advantages-ambidexterity-extrication-scene, ambidexterity is advantageous on the extrication scene, but in reality the skill required to not hold tools at dangerous awkward angles is so low that it suffices to not be stubborn and use your dominant hand when the angle favors your nondominant hand. Ambidexterity is also advantageous because of all those countless asymmetrical situations that favor one hand over the other. For example, not paying attention to which way you lay a knife on the cutting board then using your left hand to cut celery if the handle is on the left side, and cutting cucumber faster be laying it with the stem end on the right and slicing it with your left hand when there's a garbage can on your right. Ambidexterity is also useful for doing some jobs fast by not wasting in all those steps taking the time to set up each step to favor your dominant hand, for example cutting the left side of a half onion with your left hand to avoid wasting time twisting it around and quickly cutting pizzas with 2 pizza cutters as shown 9:09 into Fastest Workers Crazy workers Compilation 2013. Finally, ambidexterity is useful for quickly learning how to do some jobs in a mirror image environment from the one you have previous experience in, such as putting dishes into a machine like the one in World's Fastest Dishwasher.

References

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