Martijn van Mensvoort -  Hand Research

JANUARI 26, 2008

A New Means of Measuring 2D:4D Digit Ratio!
The index (2D)/ring finger (4D) ratio and its association with gender and hand preference.

Authors: Nicholls ME, Orr CA, Yates MJ, Loftus AM. - University of Melbourne

Finger Length & Arthritis

Relative finger length can predict a person's gender or their hand preference. We measured finger length using a new "tubes" test, which required participants to slide a clear plastic tube over their fingers and read the length from an attached mm scale. Data collected from 600 students demonstrated that the right fingers are longer than the left for dextrals, but not for non-dextrals. Examination of the relative length of the index and ring fingers revealed a clear gender effect. There was also an effect of hand preference on index/ring finger ratio whereby non-dextrals showed a more masculine pattern compared to dextrals.
For non-dextrals, prenatal exposure to high testosterone levels may have caused both a shift away from dextrality and a more masculine pattern of finger ratio. In the second experiment, finger length was measured by the tubes test and by photocopying the hands in 124 undergraduates. The tubes test yielded a longer estimate of ring finger length compared to the photocopy method. Despite this, there was a strong correlation between the tests and both showed an association with gender.
Finger Length & Arthritis

Finally, test-retest scores for 45 participants showed a high level of reliability for absolute and relative finger measures. We conclude that the tubes technique provides an effective and easy-to-use means of measuring finger length, which can be administered in a classroom setting.


An interesting aspect of this research study is that the results confirm an observation which has been reported in 2003 in de section Handedness: in left handed people the fingers of the left hand are usually longer compared to the right hand (and vice versa for right handed people).



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Related sources:
Left Handedness & Hand Asymmetry
Giving Science the Finger
Digit Ratio & Agression
Finger Length & Facial Characteristics
Finger Length & Children's exam results
Finger Length & Osteoarthritis
Pointing a Finger at Sports Success
Double Digits
Talk to the Hand




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