Extraversion / Introversion & the hand: 6 Hand signs!
Despite that most people can best be described as 'ambiverts', the dimension Extraversion-Introversion is generally considered as a key-dimension of human personality.
The terms 'extraversion' and 'introversion' were first popularized by Carl Jung (1913) and became later included in many personality theories; today some speak even about the so-called 'extravert ideal' (a term recently introduced in 2012 by American author Susan Cain).
This article presents a first (solid) attempt to describe how the dimension Extraversion / Introversion can be recognized via a (multi-perspective) study of the hand.
The results are based on a hand study in 48 Dutch people: 27 extraverts + 21 introverts (including: 34 females & 14 males) - who were selected by age (19-54), ethnicity (white), IQ (above average) and high/low scores on the Extraversion dimension of the Dutch version of the NEO PI-R personality questionnaire.
All hand materials were collected in 1997/1998.
6 Hand signs have been identified featured with strong, consistent results for both the male- and female group.
A schematic visual summary is presented at the BOTTOM of this page.
Wondering about your Big Five personality profile? There are various credible online Big Five online tests available; the picture below presents 2 Big Five profiles resulting from the BBC Big Five test
(NOTICE: 'low' scores for Extroversion can be associated with Introversion; 'medium' scores with Ambiversion; and 'high' scores with Extraversion).
In 2012 Susan Cain's argues in her bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
how modern Western culture misunderstands and undervalues the traits and capabilities of introverted people, leading to "a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness."
Cain defines the introvert-extrovert spectrum in terms of preferences for different levels of stimulation.
Her definition for Introversion is: "introverts have a preference for a quiet, more minimally stimulating environment" (see also picture above).
• page 41 - EXTRAVERT: hard hands; INTROVERT: soft hands;
• page 68/69 - EXTRAVERSION: flattened lower part of hypothenar (mount of moon);
• page 69 - INTROVERSION: swelled lower hypothenar (mount of moon) and dropping into the wrist.
- 'Psychodiagnostic Chirology in Analysis and Therapy':
• page 41 - EXTRAVERT: an extrovert formula would be the rule when the life instinct (area just below the point of origin of the upper transverse crease) is the driving influence; INTROVERT: an introvert formula would be the rule when the death instinct (= pronounced plunge of the hypothenar eminence into the wrist) holds sway over an individual's program of survival;
• page 68 - EXTRAVERT: hard hand; INTROVERT: soft hand.
• page 37 - EXTRAVERT: thumb angle: 90 degrees; INTROVERT: thumb angle: 20 degrees or less;
• page 42 - INTROVERT: all fingers leaning to little finger side;
• page 113 - INTROVERT: fragmented girdle of venus;
• page 117 - INTROVERT: very strong sun/apollo line.
- 'Palmistry: From Apprentice to Pro in Twenty-Four Hourse':
• page 197 - INTROVERT: closed fingers tightly together; skin quality: either silk or course; lines: faint and fine or thick and trench-like; head line: curves deeply (downward);
• page 198 - INTROVERT: head line: tied to vitality line; long 2nd finger; EXTRAVERT: 'naturally hold their fingers wide spread'; 4th finger: long; head line: straight; lines: strong and bold; large gap between head line and life line.
(NOTICE: It's rather remarkable that in the perspective of Extraversion/Introversion Fincham appears to talk about completely different hand features in each of his books...???)
- 'Sexual Palmistry':
• page 20 - EXTRAVERT: spatulate hands;
• page 67 - INTROVERSION: small, deficient lower mount of mars;
• page 80 - EXTRAVERSION: head line seperate from life line;
• page 132 - EXTRAVERSION: angle between index finger and thumb;
• page 137 - EXTRAVERSION: flexible hands, generous thumb.
Table 2 presents an overview of the Pearson correlation results regarding the Big Five dimension Extraversion (high scorers vs. low scorers) for the 6 individual hand signs.
TABLE 2: Pearson correlations for 6 hand signs.
Males + Females
1 - PL:PB ratio
2 - HypoTh:Th ratio
3 - FL:PB ratio
4 - 2D:4D digit ratio
5 - Distal crease term.
6 - Prox. crease term.
* p = sign. at 0.05; ** p = sign. at 0.01
Table 3 presents an overview of the distributive results ranked by sexe & the Big Five dimension Extraversion (high scorers vs. low scorers) combined for the 6 individual hand signs.
NOTICE: For hand signs 1,2,3 & 4 the values were first transformed into numbers between 0 and 10, and then grouped into the categories: 'low', 'medium' and 'high'.
TABLE 3: Pearson correlations for 6 hand signs.
Table 4 presents an overview of 'independent' regression analysis results, describing all combinations of hand signs (8 hand sign combinations) that have produced highly significant results (requirement: p < 0.001).
These combinations represent the best predictors for whether the individuals are HIGH scorers (= extraverts) or LOW scorers (= introverts) on the Big Five dimension Extraversion [according the NEO PI-R personality questionnaire].
TABLE 4: Anova F-ratio (+ weights) for the 8 most significant hand sign combinations [combi I to combi VIII are ranked by p-value].* p = sign. at 0.05; ** p = sign. at 0.01; *** p = sign. at 0.001
The 'weights' inside the 8 hand sign combinations (for males and females combined) have been used to calculate the overall weight for each of the 6 hand dimensions in the hand-model for Extraversion (the large version is presented at the BOTTOM of this page).
An interesting aspect inside these results is that all combinations with 3 different hand dimensions involved [combinations I, II, III & IV] have produced more significant results compared to the combinations with only 2 different hand dimensions involved [combinations V, VI, VII & VIII].
This can be recognized as evidence for a fundamental principle proposed in 'Multi-Perspective Palm Reading': hand sign combinations tend to become more valuable when these are found in multiple hand dimensions!
Finally, the 'Hand Model for Extraversion' (see picture at the bottom) describes 6 hand sign variants that are common in the hands of the extraverts (left-side of the picture) + 6 hand characteristics that are common in the hands of the introverts (right-side of the picture).
The 'weigths' (behind each hand characteristic - see picture) represent the estimated significance for each hand characteristic in the perspective of the full model.
Table 5 presents results for 'independent' regression analysis based on the full weighted combination of the 6 hand signs together.
The results in table 5 suggest that the weighted combination of all 6 hand signs produces (much) better results than any of 8 most significant smaller hand sign combinations described in table 4.
A discriminative analysis has pointed out that the 'Hand Model for Extraversion' can identify 85.4% of the subjects (41 out of 48) correctly as a HIGH of LOW scorer.
This implicates that 7 out of 48 subjects (= 14.6%) were not correctly assesed by the model (though one of these 7 subjects would have been classified correctly via the use of an alternative criterium).
* Despite the fact that the validity & reliability of NEO PI-R personality questionnaire has been confirmed in many studies, one should be aware that the results in an individual may fluctuate during a lifetime for various reasons (possibly due to significant life events and/or other developments).