This section presents an overview of the hand reading studies which I have conducted since 1993; all studies relate to the objective of mapping the potential of hand diagnostics - which refers to the use of the hand as a diagnostic tool.
Martijn van Mensvoort, april 2017
Hand Analysis Studies:
• 2011-2017: Multi-Perspective Hand Reading
• 2003: Hand reading students experiment
• 2003: Sex differences (+ evolution) hand research
• 2002-2003: Left-handedness research
• 2001: Hand readers experiment
• 2001: Extreme scorers - research program II
• 2000: Extreme scorers - research program I
• 2000-2003: Autism (ASD) hand research
• 1999-2003: Neuroticism (Big Five personality dimension) hand research
• 1998: Dissertation follow-up study
• 1997: Dissertation study
• 1996-1997: Population research
• 1993-2014: Literature research
- Hand Research (1993-2007): a chronological overview! -
Multi-Perspective Hand Reading was introduced in 2011 at HandResearch.com as a new concept of hand reading solely based on (academic) scientific research. In the summer of 2014 a conceptual update was presented, and the revised concept has been applied successfully (producing 100% success-scores in an attempt to discriminate high scorers from low scorers) to in respective the Big Five factor personality dimensions: Extraversion (2014), Neuroticism (2015), Conscientiousness (2016), Agreeableness & Openness (2017).
Read more about the details in the section Multi-Perspective Hand Reading; the themes page & hand sign tutor are recommended for advanced explorations. This article is presented to serve as a master class in scientific hand reading: Decoding the Language of the Hand, and this brand new article presents a new framework involving Major hand signs & the General Factor of Personality (a.k.a. 'trait EQ').
This study involving hand analysis psychology describes the hand reading students experiment in detail: results indicate that hand reading students are sensitive for the 'Barnum effect' (a.k.a. Forer effect).
This study is focused at the present state of affairs in this research program: beyond factors that relate hair & fat percentage differences between men and women, there is a major difference between males and females regarding the finger length ratios - e.g. males tend to have longer fingers on the ulnar side of the hand, which typically results in a relatively low 2d:4d digit ratio (the reversed pattern is more typical in females).
This study is focused at the present state of affairs in this research program: hand asymmetry factors represent a key-issue for the hand in left-handed people.
The hand readers experiment is described in the section Hand Analysis Psychology; all details regarding this study are also available here: www.handresearch.com/hand/Evolutie/Handanalistenonderzoek.rtf.
Title: 'Personality assessment by handanalysts II: the identification of high and low scorers on the Big Five sub-dimension Fear.'
In this study the inkprints of 5 extreme high scorers + 10 extreme low scorers on the Big Five sub-dimension FEAR were presented to 14 hand readers. The hand readers were also asked to express their level of confidence regarding each single judgment.
The average success-score for the assessment submitted by the hand readers is 62% (chance statistics indicate that a success-score of 50% was expected); the best performing handanalyst has a 80% success-score.
56% Of the judgments submitted by the hand readers are labeled with 'high' confidence, the average success-score of these 'high confidence' judgments is 71%, which is higher than the overall success-score. The best performing hand reader scores 87% for the 'high confidence' assessments. This indicates that the hand readers were able to produce meaningful feedback about the reliability of their judgments; however, in 5 out 15 hand readers the success-score on their 'confident' judgments was only 10% or less better than the success-score on their 'doubtful' judgments.
The consensus among the hand readers was measured as well. The average consensus score in this research program is 66%. In the perspective of the fact that 56% of the judgments were included with a high level of confidence, one can derive that the confidence of a single hand reader does not implicate consensus with the judgments of other hand readers. One can derive from these scores that hand readers are confident about a high percentage of their judgments, however this does not implicate that hand readers agree about (most of) their judgments. Regarding the judgments which were labeled with 'high' confidence, for only 2 out of 15 cases the consensus among the handanalysts is 100%. A report about this study is available here: www.handresearch.com/hand/Evolutie/Handanalistenonderzoek.rtf.
2000: Extreme scorers - research program I
Title: 'Personality assessment by handanalysts: the identification of high and low scorers on the personality dimensions Neuroticism en Extraversion.'
In this study the hand inkprints of 5 extraverts (extreme high scorers on the Big Five dimension Extraversion) and 5 introverts (extreme low scorers on the Big Five dimension Extraversion) were presented to 14 hand readers. Each hand reader was asked to judge all 10 pair of hands in terms of the extraversion-introversion dimension. The same procedure was executed with the hand inkprints of 5 high scorers and 5 low scorers on the Big Five dimension Neuroticism. The average success-score of the hand readers is 58% (chance statistics indicate that a success-score of 50% was expected); the best performing handanalyst has a 70% success-score.
The hand readers were also asked to express their level of confidence regarding each single judgment. 77% Of the judgments were labeled by the hand readers with 'high' confidence, however the average success-score of these judgments is also 58% (which equals the overall success-score); the best performing handanalyst scores 73% on these judgments. These results indicate that the handanalysts were hardly able to produce meaningful feedback about the reliability of their judgments.
Finally, the consensus among the handanalysts was measured as well. The average consensus score in this research program was 65%. One can derive from these percentages that handanalysts were confident about a high percentage of their judgments. However, this does not implicate that all handanalysts were able to agree about most of their judgments; regarding the judgments which were labeled with 'high' confidence, on only 2 out of 20 cases the consensus among the handanalysts is 100%.
This study focused at the present state of affairs in this research program: low 2d:4d digit ratio combined with abnormal dermatoglyphics can be recognized to represent a typical combination for the hand in people who have autistic spectrum disorders.
This involves various reports [all written in Dutch language], titled:
- 'The simian-related heartline, a strong sign for: 'high emotional sensitivity''
- 'Many arch patterns, a strong sign for: 'emotional stability''
- 'An interruption in the heartline or headline, a strong sign for: 'high emotional sensitivity''
On the basis of the dissertation study and the follow-up study is chosen for a research strategy which is focused on the personality dimension which shows the most promising research results: the Big Five dimension Neuroticism. In case these features are accompanied with specific other hand features - which are described in the research reports - the studied hand features appear to exhibit an indication for the Big Five dimension Neuroticism.
More details presented in the section: Neuroticism.
1998: Dissertation study follow up
Title dissertation follow up study: 'Personality Assessment via the hand: A study into the correlations between hand features & the results of 3 personality questionnaires' [written in Dutch language]
A correlation study focused on the hands of 100 subjects + their results for three personality questionnaires: the Dutch NEO PI-R personality questionnaire (focused on: the Big Five dimensions), the P.O.I. inventory (focused on: 12 dimensions related to the concept 'self-actualization'), and the 3D questionnaire (focused on: 6 dimensions related to the concepts 'will', 'counterwill', and 'emotion').
An overall correlation analysis for both the men and women shows that about half of the significant correlations between the Big Five dimensions and the hand features can not be explained by statistical coincidence. After 2415 analyses only 9 significant correlations were identified which have been found in both the male and female sample - 6 of these correlations can be explained by statistical coincidences. No results have been identified wit a p-value below 0.01 in both the male and female sample, so effect size of these results is not very high. One can derive from this result that on the basis of a single hand feature one can not derive reliable insights related to the personality concepts which are being measured by the three questionnaires.
On the basis of hand reading theories various research hypotheses were constructed and tested; 45% of the hypotheses were confirmed by significant results, however 9% of the hypotheses were contradicted by significant results.Because 59 out of 105 hand features were measured via a computerscan, one can test the hypothesis that the measurement of hand signs leads to a higher interobserver reliability compared to hand signs that were assessed by observation. The results confirm this hypothesis: the correlation among the measurements of the observers was 0.90; the correlation among the observations of the observers was 0.80.
1997: Dissertation study
Title dissertation study: 'Psychodiagnostic Assessment via The Hand: A study into the correlations between the Big Five dimensions and the signs of the hand via diagnostic handanalysis' [written in Dutch language]
A correlation study focused on the hands of 123 subjects + their Dutch NEO PI-R personality questionnaire results, including an analysis of 75 hand sign. Many significant correlations were found between the Big Five dimensions and the hand signs - a significant part of these correlations can not be explained by statistical coincidences. The highest correlation between an individual hand sign and a Big Five dimension is 0.37 (sign. on p<0.001). One can derive from this result that on the basis of a single hand feature one can not derive reliable clues for the Big Five personality dimensions.
The study also included an interobserver study, where 6 observers (including one very experienced hand reader) were invited to analyse various hand signs - according the research protocol. The highest consensus regarding the observations of the researcher was found in the observations made by the very experienced handanalyst. The statistical results indicate that the interobserver reliability regarding many hand signs is not very high.
1996-1997: Population research
This concerns a study focused on the structure of the hand, involving: the dermatoglyphics, the development of the fingers & palmar zones, and some aspects of the primary creases. The focus of attention goes to population differences between Dutch people and Americans (results show no significant differences), and male-female differences (various significant differences: men tend to have a relatively long ring finger + long little finger; women tend to have a relatively long index finger; these sex related differences are also noticed in the length of the accessory palmar zones: proximal palmar zones are more developed in men compared to women).
More details regarding the typical hand differences between males & female is presented in the section Sex Differences.
1993-2014: Literature research
In the early 1990's I started studying the hand reading literature (incl. palmistry, palm reading, hand analysis, chirology, etc.) which has been published worldwide; later Ed Campbell's work 'The Encyclopedia of Palmistry' (1996) became a very helpful resource in that perspective. Beyond the fields of traditional hand reading, in 1993 I also made my first steps in monitoring scientific publications that relate to the diagnostic potential of various aspects of the hands - but it took a few years before I become aware that many of those scientific studies basically only have the objective to study the etiology (read: cause) of diseases & disorders.
The next menu section presents an overview of the latest hand news & hand reading reports: