What does your ‘digit ratio’ say about you?

Hands

Scientists have long looked for physical markers of our inner lives. Now it turns out that the length of your fingers reveals much about you. Take this test to find out

Did you know you can measure your personality with a ruler? First, measure the length of your index finger from crease to tip. Then do the same for your ring finger. Divide the first number by the second to calculate your 2:4 digit ratio. For example, my index finger is 7.8cm and my ring finger is 8.2cm, so my ratio is 7.8÷8.2=0.95, which is precisely the average for a man. For a woman it’s 0.97.

Below average

People with lower digit ratios tend to be more assertive, perhaps even more aggressive, and are less likely to suffer from eating disorders. They are also more likely to have “masculine” handwriting (whatever that looks like). Men with lower ratios are perceived as more masculine and dominant and – among professional musicians – more skilled than their high-ratio counterparts (unsuprisingly, the authors didn’t ask people to rate women for their masculinity).

Above average

People with higher digit ratios tend to score higher for the personality trait of agreeableness (ie they’re just nicer people). Men with higher ratios do better in exams but are more likely to have paranormal and superstitious beliefs. Straight women (and gay men) with higher digit ratios prefer partners with more masculine faces.

Why? Your digit ratio reflects the extent of your exposure to male sex hormones (eg testosterone) while still a foetus. These hormones have masculinising effects. But don’t worry if you don’t fit the picture – lots of things other than androgen exposure affect both finger length and the traits mentioned here.

Psy-Q by Ben Ambridge is published by Profile Books at £8.99. To order a copy for £6.29, go to bookshop.theguardian.com

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Ambridge, for The Observer on Sunday 25th October 2015 09.30 Europe/London

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