Very Strange Meaning of Finger Length

If your ring finger and index finger are the same length, which is quite typical for women, it may mean you have difficulty parking a car or reading a map.

Led by Dr. Petra Kempel, scientists from the University of Giessen in Germany have determined that people whose ring and index fingers are about the same length have a more difficult time with spatial skills, the ability to assess and orientate shapes and spaces, reports the BBC News Online. When we read maps and park cars, we use spatial skills.

The study: The researchers examined the spatial, numerical, and verbal skills of 40 student volunteers. For one of the spatial tests, volunteers had to tell which of five drawings could not be rotated so it looked like the other four. Another test involved the ability to think in 3D by mentally "unfolding" a complex shape. They also looked at the length of the students' ring and index fingers.

The results: In women, the two fingers are usually the same length when measured from the crease nearest the palm to the fingertip, but in men, the ring finger tends to be much longer than the index finger. Overall, men achieved higher scores on the tests than did the women, but women who had the male pattern finger length did better on the tests than the women whose ring finger was shorter.

Why? The researchers claim that being exposed to too little testosterone in the womb causes both a deficiency in spatial ability and shorter rings fingers.

The research findings were published in the journal Intelligence.

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