Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Finger Length and SAT Scores?

This just in from the "weird science and education news" department: student finger lengths can be used to predict SAT scores. Really.

As humorist Dave Barry would say, " I am not making this up."

According to research by, students with ring fingers longer than their index fingers have higher math scores than verbal scores on the college entrance exam. Students with the reverse ratio tended to have higher verbal scores and lower math scores. What's to account for this trend? LiveScience says:
Exposure to testosterone in the womb is said to promote development of areas of the brain often associated with spatial and mathematical skills, he said. That hormone makes the ring finger longer. Estrogen exposure does the same for areas of the brain associated with verbal ability and tends to lengthen the index finger relative to the ring finger.
To test their hypothesis, researchers made photocopies of children's palms and measured the length of their index and ring fingers (using calipers accurate to .01 mm). The researchers then looked at boys' and girls' test scores separately, comparing them to finger-length ratios. In the end, they said they found a clear link between prenatal testosterone exposure (indicated by the finger length) and the higher SAT scores in math. You can read the full story here.

In the interest of full disclosure, LiveScience's hypothesis pans out with this author's own finger-ratio and math scores.

Maybe LiveScience could replicate the study with the WASL?

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