Finger length and academic result
They can also tell if you will have a more or less aggressive or passive personality. The two fingers that are important to find out all this are the index finger and the ring finger.
In a study recently published in the British Journal of Psychology, scientists from the University of Bath compared the finger lengths of 75 children with their standardized test (SAT) test results. The researchers found a clear link between a child's performance in arithmetic and language tests and the relative lengths between his index and the ring.
Scientists believe that the cause of this would reside in the different levels of the hormones testosterone and estrogen present in the uterus during pregnancy and the effect that these hormones have on both brain development and finger length.
But this is nothing new, since scientists have known for many years that raising testosterone levels - or other testosterone-like hormones - can make the brains of men or women more "masculine."
It has also been known for some time that children tend to get better scores in math tests, while girls have better results in writing, reading and verbal tests.
"It has been argued that testosterone promotes the development of areas of the brain that is 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.
"It is believed that estrogen does the same in areas of the brain that is often associated with verbal ability." Interestingly, it is also believed that these hormones have voice and vote in the relative lengths of the index and ring fingers.
"We can use the measurements of these fingers as a way to measure the relative exposure to these two hormones in the uterus, as we have shown through this study, so we can also use this measurement to predict the ability in key areas of arithmetic and literacy. "
How was the investigation conducted?
The researchers photocopied the palm of the children's hands and then measured the length of your index finger and ring finger of both hands with tweezers, an accuracy of 0.01 mm. The index finger length was then divided by that of the ring finger to calculate the child's digit ratio.
When they compared this relationship to the children's SAT results, they found that a smaller proportion (i.e. a longer ring finger and therefore a higher prenatal exposure to testosterone) meant a greater difference between math and literacy ability , which favors mathematical skills in relation to reading and speaking skills.
Subsequently, when they examined the performance of the children separately, the researchers found a clear relationship between high exposure to prenatal testosterone, measured by the ratio digits, and higher arithmetic punctuations in men.
This, say the scientists behind the study, suggests that finger length measurements could help predict how well children will do in math and literacy.
"We are not suggesting that finger length measurements could replace SAT tests," said Dr. Brosnan. But "the finger length relationship offers us an interesting insight into our innate abilities in key cognitive areas."