Your finger length tells all about you

Scientists have discovered that finger length helps predict test exam results, cancer, musical ability and aggressive personality.

In a study, British Journal of Psychology, scientists shows that your finger length can predict how you will do on various tests in school. They can also tell if you are likely to be homosexual or straight, if you will likely get certain cancers, be a musician, writer or a scientist, or if you will have an aggressive or passive personality.

The two fingers that are important are the index finger -- the one you use to point to something -- and the ring finger.

Reading, writing and arithmetic...

In a recent study from the help of online universities, the results of mathematics and literacy (reading) tests for seven-year-old children could be predicted by measuring the length of these two fingers.

In a study to be published in the British Journal of Psychology, scientists compared the finger lengths of 75 children with their Standardised Assessment Test (SAT) scores. They found a clear link between a child's performance in numeracy and literacy tests and the relative lengths of their index (pointing) and ring fingers.

Scientists believe that the link is caused by different levels of the hormones testosterone and estrogen in the womb -- and the effect they have on both brain development and finger length. This is nothing new, since scientists have known for many years that elevated levels of testosterone -- or other hormones closely resembling testosterone -- can cause the brains of both males and females to be more "masculine."

It has long been known that boys tend to do better on math tests while girls do better at writing, reading and verbal tests.

"Testosterone has been argued to promote development of the areas of the brain which are often associated with spatial and mathematical skills," said Dr Mark Brosnan, Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, who led the study.

"Estrogen is thought to do the same in the areas of the brain which are often associated with verbal ability. "Interestingly, these hormones are also thought have a say in the relative lengths of our index and ring fingers.

"We can use measurements of these fingers as a way of gauging the relative exposure to these two hormones in the womb and as we have shown through this study, we can also use them to predict ability in the key areas of numeracy and literacy."

How they did the research

The researchers made photocopies of the palm of the children's hands and then measured the length of their index finger and ring finger on both hands using callipers, accurate to 0.01mm. They then divided the length of the index finger by that of the ring finger -- to calculate the child's digit ratio.

When they compared this ratio to the children's SAT scores, they found that a smaller ratio (i.e. a longer ring finger and therefore greater prenatal exposure to testosterone) meant a larger difference between ability in maths and literacy, favouring math skills relative to reading and speaking skills.

When they looked at boy's and girl's performance separately, the researchers found a clear link between high prenatal testosterone exposure, as measured by digit ratio, and higher numeracy SAT scores in males.

Previously, researchers have found a link between index and ring finger lengths and homosexuality (see article in viewzone.)

They also found a link between low prenatal testosterone exposure, which resulted in a shorter ring finger compared with the index finger, and higher literacy SAT scores for girls.

This, says the scientists behind the study, suggests that measurements of finger length could help predict how well children will do in maths and literacy.

"We're not suggesting that finger length measurements could replace SAT tests," said Dr Brosnan.

"Finger ratio provides us with an interesting insight into our innate abilities in key cognitive areas.

"We are also looking at how digit ratio relates to other behavioural issues, such as technophobia [fear of science], and career paths.

There is also interest in using digit ratio to identify homosexuality, developmental disorders, such as dyslexia, which can be defined in terms of literacy deficiencies, and aggressive vs. passive personalitity traits.

Source: http://viewzone2.com/fingers.html. This research, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, is supported by the British Academy Centenary Research Project, Lucy to Language -- a multi-disciplinary project that aims to understand the complexities of human social evolution

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