Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alpha males take greater risks: Study links finger length to behavior

Date:
November 9, 2010
Source:
Concordia University
Summary:
Potential investors might wish to examine the fingers of their financial adviser prior to signing over any savings. A new study has found the length between the second and fourth finger is an indicator of high levels of prenatal testosterone, risk-taking and potential financial success in men. The findings suggest that alpha males may take greater risks in relationships, on the squash court and in the financial market.

A new study has found the length between the second and fourth finger is an indicator of high levels of prenatal testosterone, risk-taking and potential financial success in men.
Credit: iStockphoto

Potential investors might wish to examine the fingers of their financial advisor prior to signing over any savings. A new study from Concordia University has found the length between the second and fourth finger is an indicator of high levels of prenatal testosterone, risk-taking and potential financial success in men.

The findings, published in the journal of Personality and Individual Differences, suggest that alpha males may take greater risks in relationships, on the squash court and in the financial market.

"Previous studies have linked high testosterone levels with risky behaviour and financial success," says senior researcher Gad Saad, Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption as well as a marketing professor at the John Molson School of Business. "We investigated the relationship between prenatal testosterone and various risk proclivities. Our findings show an association between high testosterone and risk-taking among males in three domains: recreational, social and financial."

"Since women tend to be attracted to men who are fit, assertive and rich, men are apt to take risks with sports, people and money to be attractive to potential mates. What's interesting is that this tendency is influenced by testosterone exposure -- more testosterone in the womb can lead to more risks in the rink, the bar and the trading floor in later in life," says first author and Concordia doctoral student, Eric Stenstrom.

Link only observed in men

Saad and his team analyzed risk-taking among 413 male and female students using a survey. "Prenatal testosterone exposure not only influences fetal brain development," adds study co-author and graduate student, Zack Mendenhall, "but it also slows the growth of the index finger relative to the sum of the four fingers excluding the thumb."

The change in finger length produced by testosterone provides a handy measure of prenatal testosterone exposure. The study compared the length of the index finger with all four digits (known as the rel2 ratio) and found that those with lower ratios were more likely to engage in risk-taking. These findings were further confirmed by the additional measurement of the ratio between the index and ring finger. These correlations were only observed in men.

"A possible explanation for the null effects in women is that they do not engage in risky behaviour as a mating signal, whereas men do," says Professor Saad.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Concordia University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eric Stenstrom, Gad Saad, Marcelo V. Nepomuceno, Zack Mendenhall. Testosterone and domain-specific risk: Digit ratios (2D:4D and rel2) as predictors of recreational, financial, and social risk-taking behaviors. Personality and Individual Differences, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.07.003

Cite This Page:

Concordia University. "Alpha males take greater risks: Study links finger length to behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109133227.htm>.
Concordia University. (2010, November 9). Alpha males take greater risks: Study links finger length to behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109133227.htm
Concordia University. "Alpha males take greater risks: Study links finger length to behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109133227.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins