This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
there meaning in the length of a finger? An eighteen ninety-three guidebook called
"Modern Etiquette in Public and Private" had this to say: "Long
fingers are a sign of refinement. A short stubby hand argues a lack of
Well, long fingers might also be a sign of a good basketball
player or pianist. Or maybe just a master at thumb wars. This much is sure: studies
in recent years have pointed toward a number of findings.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England,
for example, just tied finger length to success in financial trading.
study led by John Coates looked at stock traders in London. Earlier work found
that male stock traders made more money on days when their level of the male
hormone testosterone was higher. John Coates -- himself a former trader -- wondered
if, over all, men with more testosterone made more successful traders.
are exposed to testosterone while in their mother's womb. A way to know how
much is to compare their ring finger to their index finger. The index finger is
the one next to the thumb; the ring finger is third from the thumb. The longer
the ring finger compared to the index finger, the greater the testosterone
The study involved forty-four traders
and their profits and losses over a twenty-month period ending in two thousand
Those with the most experience and
testosterone exposure earned about six times as much as those with the least. Also,
the research showed that traders with the most exposure generally made the most
money in wild markets when quick action is required. Testosterone is known to
make people more sure of themselves and more willing to take risks. It may also
improve a person's thinking ability.
findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
two thousand seven British study showed that finger length might help predict test
results among schoolchildren. Psychology researchers at the University of Bath
looked at the hands of seven-year-olds. Those with ring fingers longer than index
fingers did better on the math part of a standardized test than the reading
This was true for
boys as well as girls. Females are also exposed to some testosterone in the
And another British study reported last year that people
whose index finger is shorter than their ring finger are at higher risk of
osteoarthritis. That study was from the University of Nottingham.
And that's the VOA Special English Health Report,
written by Caty Weaver. Looking at my fingers, I'm Steve Ember.