[adsense float=’left’]Giving a person a high-five seems like a strange way to gander the personality traits of a person. But there is apparently some scientific backing for this if you have a calibrated eyeball and are quick enough to determine the difference in length of the other person’s fingers. Specifically, you want to look at the difference between the second and fourth digits (the pointer finger and the ring finger).
I didn’t know this until this I stumbled upon it this past weekend, but apparently, there is a lot of university research that looks into the traits of a person based on the hand’s second-to-fourth digit ratio (called the 2D:4D ratio). This ratio is obtained by dividing the length of the forefinger by the length of the ring finger of the same hand as shown in the image to the right.
The latest study comes from Antoni Bosch-Dome`nech, Pablo Bra ̃nas-Garza, and Antonio M. Esp ́ın who are researchers from the University of Granada, the Barcelona Pompeu Fabra University and the Middlesex University of London. Their study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306453014000493) makes a connection between the amount of testosterone a fetus is exposed to in the womb, to the 2D:4D finger ratio. The higher the testosterone, the longer the 4D (ring finger) is compared to the 2D (pointer finger). Therefore the 2D:4D ratio will be less than 1.0.
“The lower the ratio, the greater the prenatal testosterone received and, therefore, the more “masculine” the cerebral disposition, regardless of the person’s gender” said one of the study’s authors: Antonio Manuel Espin, lecturer at the Dept. of Economic Theory and History (University of Granada, Spain).
Here is the big take away from a typing perspective: masculinity is strongly linked to the “Thinking” trait in the Myers-Briggs personality system. People with low 2D:4D finger ratios do better on logic tests (called a Cognitive Reflection Test) as shown in the illustration below.
It should be noted that low 2D:4D finger ratios are also associated with higher risk taking. This I learned from reading the citations listed in their paper.
How do you use this information?
If you go to shake your client’s hand, or give them a high five, you can take a quick look at their fingers and try to determine if that ring finger is longer than their pointer finger. If it is, then they most likely have the thinking trait.
I have to admit, this is a little strange. But it creates an opening to make small talk with your prospect. You can point out that a long ring finger is an indication that they are a logic person, and that you admire that.
And I’d also like to point out that it adds to the mounting evidence that you are born with your personality, and it is not created by environmental conditions such as how your parents raised you.