Just another concept of how various types IQ could relate to the fingers...?

The previous post introduced Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Test (DMIT) – which e.g. describes how various aspects of intelligence could relate to the 10 individual fingers & the brain lobes. Unfortunately there appears to be no (academic) scientific evidence available which confirms the validity of the DMIT-model. But there appears to be multiple evidence available which does confirm that various hand features do provide clues to the general intelligence – specified to the intelligence quotient (IQ)!

In the next 3 posts a quick introduction to how various hand dimensions correlate with IQ, starting with: hand shape.


The two most common causes of a mental retardation (Down syndrome + fragile X-sydrome) are typically featured with relatively broad palm. This typically results in a high ‘hand index’: > 47. 

NOTICE: The ‘hand index’ is defined as: 100 x the quotient of the palm width and the hand length. A ‘hand index’ of 0.47 or higher could be described as high, because far most international ‘hand index’ studies so far indicate that the average varies from 42 to 0.46 (Japanese males: 43.1, American males: 46; Japanese females: 42.3, American females: 43.7). 

So, one could expect that a low ‘hand index’ could provide a clue to a high IQ. But one should be very aware of the fact that the ‘hand index’ varies among men (higher) and women (lower), and among ethnic populations (lower in asians, higher in caucasians).

Interestingly… a 1980 Zagreb study on a large sample of males (N=540) has pointed out that ‘hand width’ does correlate negative with IQ (confirmed at all 10 IQ measures involved in the study). The study also reported that ‘hand length’ did not correlate with IQ – some of the dimensions produced very small positive correlations, which raises the question whether ‘hand index’ would have produced more signficant results than ‘hand width’.

NOTICE: The 1980 study also reveal that all 10 IQ measures produced positive correlations which ‘body height’ – a result which has been confirmed by many studies.

The picture below demonstrates how to measure ‘hand width’: in scientific studies this is always done at the position of the metacarpals (0ne could use the starting point of the life line as an easy identifyable point of reference).

And hand length is measure from the distal wrist crease to the tip of the middle finger. 

Four example photographs of hands and arms scoring high or low on the ‘Hand Masculinity Index’: (a) High masculinity male hand; (b) low masculinity male hand; (c) high masculinity female hand; (d) low masculinity female hand.

Like faces, hands and forearms may provide cues to quality and sex-typical hormone exposure used in mate choice. Untill recently finger length (ratio) was the only measure that has been used to evaluate hand attractiveness. But last year (december 2009), L.K. Dane presented a rather surprizing Ph. D. disertation study at the University of New Mexico which provides quite a lot of new insights aboutwhat makes hands attractive for the opposite sexe!

A quick summary of the key-results:

“Men with male typical hand index scores, low 2D:4D digit ratio and high ridge counts were rated as more masculine, dominant, intelligent, healthy and as good parents. Women with feminine hands, high 2D:4D digit ratio and high ridge counts were rated as more feminine. Results were mostly consistent with similar research on faces.”

The results also confirmed that the ‘masculinity’ factor of the hands plays a major role in how attractive / appealing hands are for the other sexe. In men a positive correlation was found between ‘hand masculinity’ and both the ‘face masculinity’ and ‘face attractiveness’. In women a positive correlation was found between ‘hand masculinity” and ‘face masculinity’, while a negative correlation was found between ‘hand masculinity’ and ‘face attractiveness’.

At first sight this may sound not as a big surprize. But a fascinating aspect inside the results is that in men the correlation between ‘hand masculinty’ and ‘face attractiveness’ is even higher (more significant) than the correlation between ‘hand masculinity’and ‘face masculinity’!!

Another interesting element provided by the study is that features of the arm were observed as well:

“Within men, an analysis of separate hand and arm ratings indicated that a combination of masculine hands with less masculine forearms was most attractive.”

A re-definition of the word ‘handsome’?

The result of the study clearly illustrate how ‘masculinity’ in men appeals to women:

While women like men to have ‘masculine hands’… but women do not mind at all when a man’s body (arm + face) is a little bit less masculine than their hands are!!

Why do women have this preference?? The answer remains unclear: but maybe it is related to the fact that only the hands provide ‘genetic’ cues about sexually dimorphic characteristics (2D:4D digit ratio, fingerprints & ridge counts) that are already established before birth!

 Males vs. females: sexe differences in the hand!
Finger length & sex I.D.: find out how your mind works!
 What your physique reveals about your health!

Distribution of finger length ratios among women.

The average ‘digit ratio’ is 0.98 among women (while 0.96 among men).

OK, you heard about those finger stories, but do you know how to measure your ‘digit ratio’?

Professor John T. Manning’s “digit ratio” – refers to the ratio between the length of your index finger and your ring finger. The following describes the basic findings of this ‘scientific’ finger research + a 3-step method on how to measure your ‘digit ratio’!

Studies have found that during gestation, testosterone has powerful effects on the developing body and brain, and can cause increased confidence, (financial) risk preferences and search persistence, as well as heightened vigiance and quickened reaction times.

The most common measure is the ratio of the index to ring finger (2D:4D) on the right hand. A relatively longer ring finger – lower 2D:4D – indicates higher prenatal testosterone levels. Men typically have scores below 1, women above 1.


1. Place your right hand firmly on the plate of a photocopier with fingers straight. Close cover of place a sheet of paper over your hand to prevent glare from overhead lights. Ensure that the bottom crease and finger tip can be clearly seen in the photocopy.

2. Use a ruler of calipers to measure the distance from the middle of the bottom crease to the tip of the finger.

3. Once you have the measures for both your ring and index finger, then divide the length of your index finger by the length of your ring finger. The result is 2D:4D (2nd digit divided by 4th digit).

Source: University of Cambridge.

Fingers of fate - how to measure your '2D:4D finger ratio'?


Second to fourth digit ratio, testosterone and perceived male dominance!
Finger ratio & financial risk preference!
Finger research says: ‘lingerie sharpens the financial mind in men’!
More finger ratio research