Thesis Title

Peppermint Patty as a Possible Illustration of a Right-Brain-Dominant Child

Graduation Date

Fall 1981

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Using Peppermint Patty, a cartoon character created by Charles Schulz, the idea of there existing two distinct modes of consciousness, with individuals habitually becoming predisposed to one mode over the other, is researched and discussed. Data from experiments on split brain patients is included to substantiate the differences in function between the left hemisphere and right hemisphere of the brain, current social, cultural, and ed­ucational domination by the left-brain mode of consciousness is examined and challenged. The resultant undermining of the right- brain mode of consciousness is explored with comic illustrations featuring Peppermint Patty in today's typical school system, and techniques are offered for use of the right hemisphere to facil­itate learning. It is concluded that the overwhelming dominance of the left-brain context in human affairs has far reaching rami­fications and that acknowledgement of the value of right-brain functions is essential for restoring balance. It is also con­cluded that further research is necessary to prove the supposition of habitual hemisphere preference in cognition of individuals, and this research is whole heartedly encouraged.