Saturday, May 30, 2015

Trunkworthy's First 40: Elvis Costello's Best, Least Remembered Songs

Beginning 40 weeks ago, on Elvis Costello's 60th birthday, the boys over at Trunkworthy began a project I have been following very closely. Each week, they post a forgotten gem from Elvis Costello's vast catalog. And each week, I have been saving a link to the weekly Trunkworthy article

Trunkworthy cofounders Gary Stewart and David Gorman select each song, write a highly entertaining and informative description, and post a video. They have also created a Spotify playlist called Elvis Costello Songs of the Week, which currently has a mere 242 followers. I am writing today to call additional attention to Trunkworthy. and in particular to this fantastic Elvis Costello project. 

Without further ado, here is a table of the first 20 songs in the Trunkworthy collection of Elvis Costello Songs of the Week.   

Need more convincing? OK, here is a table of the second 20 songs--and there's plenty more where these came from!

Seriously great stuff! If you are already a long-time Elvis Costello fan like me, then you need no convincing. But if you are new to Elvis Costello, Trunkworthy is building a great selection of the prolific, genre-busting artist's best least remembered songs.

Expressions: A Look at Facial Symmetry and Its Implications on the Perception of Beauty

People actually prefer slightly asymmetrical facial features

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all 
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

John Keats (1795–1821) Ode on a Grecian Urn

While symmetrical faces are perceived to be attractive,
completely symmetric faces are disconcerting and are not perceived as normal.

Recently, while investigating the finger length ratio, I learned that the length of a person's ring fingers is determined by the amount of testosterone present in the womb during pre-natal development. The more testosterone, the longer the ring finger. This is true for males as well as females, but the correlated behavior traits are more pronounced in men. Other characteristics that are influenced by androgens in utero include a person's facial symmetry. The more testosterone in the womb, the more symmetry in adult facial features. 

Right after calculating my 2D:4D ratio (and trying to interpret it), I set out to investigate the degree of symmetry in the face of my closest available subject, moi. For readers who share my curiosity, here is a quick tutorial on how to select and manipulate a photo to investigate facial symmetry. I'll conclude the post with some thoughts on why this matters.


Select a photo that is evenly lit and as nearly straight on as possible. Stoic expressions are fine, but I think it makes sense to find an expression that most people would recognize as natural.

Construct a grid and rotate the picture so that it is as nearly vertical as possible. You may need to focus on getting the eyes on the same plane, particularly if there is no distinct vertical axis. 

Modified original, aligned and cropped

Crop the photo to provide a small border around the area of interest (face). 

Now you are ready to make the vertical cut that divides the face into two halves. Try to slice down the axis of symmetry, splitting the forehead, nose, teeth, and chin as evenly as possible in one straight vertical line. You may have to minimize errors by splitting differences. That is, if the nose is off-center a little to the right and the teeth are off center a little to the left, the best vertical line would minimize the errors by splitting the difference between the nose center and the teeth center.

Next you are going to flip the images by rotating them around the vertical axis you have just described. As you create the four halves, give them distinct names like Right (i.e., the subject's right) and Flipped Right (i.e., the result of rotating the right image vertically 180 degrees). You'll also have Left and Flipped Left halves.

Right Symmetry

Once you create and identify the four halves, you can start mixing them up to create four different combinations. Two right halves, the right and flipped right, placed together side-by-side form the Right Symmetry view (shown above).

Left Symmetry
The left and flipped left halves create the Left Symmetry view (shown above).

Put the two flipped sides together to create the Mirror view (shown above). At this point, you are ready to construct the complete set of four views.

Once you have the four essential views, you will need some software for consistent, reproducible evaluation of the degree of symmetry in each of them. Obviously, the constructed right and left symmetry views should have a very high degree of symmetry, and the original and mirror views should have similar, if lesser degrees of symmetry.  

Symmeter ( is a web-based system that provides a simple way to measure the symmetry of any person, place or thing using a digital image. Symmeter requires a small file, 100K or less, in JPEG format. If you want to convert files without downloading software, I had good luck with Zamzar ( They have a fast and easy tool for converting your large and rich .png files to simpler .jpg files. As for Symmeter, it uses some older technology that does not mesh well with Google or Firefox, but I was able to get it to work with Explorer. 

Upload your first file to Symmeter and choose bi-lateral symmetry. Don't choose radial symmetry unless you are evaluating a wheel or a pizza. Define your area of interest with a rectangle or an ellipse. I found that I got better results, i.e., a higher symmeter value, when I used an ellipse instead if a rectangle. The square may be better for folks with wider faces. The system returns a number called the Symmeter Value, which is the percentage of symmetry in the area defined. The Symmeter value for most faces will be in the mid to high 90's, which is why the precision of the decimal places is important.  I rounded the fourth decimal to create the table below.

Notice that the Original and the Mirror are fairly close in value, as expected, but the Mirror is higher. I am not sure why they would not be exactly the same. Perhaps the photo was not taken dead-on, or perhaps the slightly uneven lighting casts some shadows that throw the results off. Notice that both Right and Left Symmetry views are very close to 100% symmetrical, as expected, with slight improvements using the ellipse.

Notice, too, that I added the results from a stock photo of George Clooney to the results table. I concede that George is an exceptionally handsome man. Notice that the image of George Clooney has a Symmeter Value of 94.792, noticeably less than the primary subject. The statement is not that I have a more symmetrical face than George. Even if that is true, my point was more to the fact that perceptions of beauty are only partially based on symmetry. Collecting the symmeter value is an exercise in the pursuit of truth. The truth has a beauty all its own. There is no positive correlation between Symmeter value and aesthetic appeal (or if there is, that is not my point). Case in point: the image labeled Left Symmetry is more appealing than the one labeled Right Symmetry, even though they have similar and very high bi-lateral symmetry.    

There are plenty of web sites that discuss the issue of facial symmetry and beauty. The primary subjects seem to be "Beautiful People" celebrities like Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and the aforementioned George Clooney. Although symmetry is theoretically desirable, plenty of folks with asymmetric faces have adorned the cover of People magazine. 

Gorgeous George, charter member of Jimmy Kimmel's
Handsome Men's Club

Symmetry is not necessary for aesthetic appeal. Few things in nature are symmetrical, and as stated at the outset of this post, completely symmetric faces are disconcerting and are not perceived as normal. Since I know that my Left Symmetry is more visually appealing than my Right Symmetry, I will use that to my advantage. But I will also be suspicious of superficial beauty, now that I understand how easily my eyes can be fooled.  

This brings us to the concluding thoughts about my motives for this investigation and related inquiries into physical and behavioral characteristics that, to some extent, are determined genetically. I do not care about finger length because a certain 2D:4D ratio is "desirable." Nor am I interested in facial symmetry because a certain Symmeter Value is "superior." I do not think one MBTI profile is "better" than the others.  But I do care about understanding and appreciating the truth inside of biological diversity.  There is real beauty in that pure truth.

Next steps in the inquiry would probably involve relating the degree of symmetry to the finger length ratio an a large number of subjects. The hypothesis would be that if a developing fetus is exposed to a certain level of androgens in utero, and if the effects of  this exposure are increased facial symmetry and longer ring fingers (among other effects) then these effects should be correlated. Perhaps someone has already started this investigation.

Is aesthetic appeal the same thing as beauty? If we believe Keats, aesthetic appeal can be a mirage, but the truth is beautiful.  

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all 
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

The Legacy Brain Foundation

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. I am writing today to help bring awareness to the Legacy Brain Foundation founded by Dr Virginia Stark-Vance, an oncologist at Medical City Dallas Hospital.

"The Legacy Brain Foundation was founded by brain tumor patients, their family members, and their physicians. We saw a need in North Texas for an organization dedicated to raising awareness of brain and spinal cord (neurological) tumors, as well as how the diagnosis of one of these tumors affects the patient and their family. Several female patients noted the success of breast cancer organizations in raising awareness, supporting research, and pursuing a cure for breast cancer. The Ladies of Legacy organization was formed to fill the need that these women saw to aggressively pursue those same goals as they related to neurological tumors. While many of the initial programs and events targeted female patients, the board voted to enlarge the scope of the organization in 2007 to reach out to all brain and spinal cord tumor patients in North Texas.This led to the official formation of the Legacy Brain Foundation. While less common than breast cancer, so much so that they have gained designation as "orphan diseases", neurological tumors typically have a more devastating impact on the patient and their family. Some patients have significant neurological impairment, may require weeks or months of therapy, or may never be able to return to work due to the effects of the tumor or the treatments.  The implications of a diagnosis extend to caregivers, families, and friends as well and often have a much more profound effect on those individuals.Even with the encouraging medical advances of the last few years, patients diagnosed with a neurological tumor face an uncertain future."



Unfortunately, the most common brain tumors are malignant. Please consider supporting the Legacy Brain Foundation or similar organizations in a concerted effort to bring aid and comfort to patients and their caregivers, as well as fund research toward better treatment options and improved preventative and diagnostic techniques.

The LBF logo was created by my brother Todd


What is a Metaphysician?

ISO a better understanding of what it means to be a "Metaphysician."

Metaphysics is Facts plus Hypotheses raised to the power of Intuition, Faith, and Reason

According to Google (hmmmm... is their search algorithm "meta" enough?), a metaphysician is either:
  • a philosopher whose area of expertise is the study of the fundamental nature of reality and existence, or 
  • more esoterically, a practicing healer/adviser that changes physical reality by working with the principles and powers and ‘things’ that underlie it, and especially the mind or psyche, or
  • both 

Many writers write about subjects in which they have recognized expertise. Most writers probably want to tell a story from a position of competence. In my case, in this instance, I want to write about metaphysics precisely because I am clueless on the topic. I write as a means to discovery and understanding.

My motives:

  • I just had a friend remind me that she and her husband have become metaphysicians, and I do not want to have to ask her what she meant by that
  • I am wrestling with the inadequacies of religion and philosophy in view of staggering personal losses
  • I am searching for meaning, that I might understand how to discern my place and purpose in the universe, and to share my process of gaining understanding
  • I am thinking about pursuing a degree in metaphysics. I am only half-joking. OK, I am only half-serious. 

Basically, friends from my church left, joined a metaphysical chapel, and became metaphysicians. They have mentioned this fact in passing ("that is why we became metaphysicians") a couple of times recently, and I finally got curious enough to check into what they were talking about.

I learned that: (a) There is a Metaphysics Chapel just a few miles from my home; and (b) There is an accredited, degree-granting institution which offers a PhD in Metaphysical Humanistic Science

Institute for Metaphysical Humanistic Science

Why change?

  • I am constantly seeking to know myself better, to ensure that I am honest, authentic, and transparent in my attempts to make my corner of the world a little better. But "making" the world better leads to conflict when values collide. What if simply being better and showing others how to be better is the answer? 
  • I am committed to a life of service to others. But are my efforts addressing core issues or just superficial ones? Am I having the greatest possible impact as an individual and a group member? 
  • I love my church, and its focus on social justice. But are churches able to do enough? Are they doing enough? Are all the churches together eliminating poverty, disease, ignorance, and hunger? If not, would a different approach work any better? If I thought a different approach would work better, would I not be obligated to try?

Despite these ongoing efforts in self-awareness, service orientation, and community focus, I can't help but wonder if maybe there isn't an even better way for me to align my talents, aspirations and goals with the most intractable problems facing the human race. I look at the types of things that I write about on PhilosFX, and I see a lot more in common with Metaphysics than business process re-engineering, statistical analysis, or other traditional operations research analyst topics.

Though I love my current job and am proud of my career, I do see problems with traditional analytical approaches to problem-solving:
  • corporate money controlling research and politics, and 
  • the defense industrial complex essentially manufacturing wars, and 
  • traditional churches failing to adequately address social justice issues.
My years-long pursuit of a PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences, specializing in Operations Research is on hold. Progress stalled for a wide range of reasons. I suppose there is an important distinction to make between reasons and excuses. What if some of my "reasons" were related to a growing suspicion that I was on the wrong path? The will finds a way...

We don't need more optimization. We don't need more data. We don't need more pontification. We don't need more greedy algorithms or policy wonks. We need more healing. We need more insight. We need more understanding, empathy, compassion, and love.

The will finds a way...

  • What is a metaphysician? HERE
  • What does a metaphysician do? HERE
  • What else does a metaphysician do? HERE
  • Where is the nearest metaphysical chapel? HERE
  • How does the dictionary define metaphysics? HERE
  • Who were or are some notable metaphysicians? HERE
  • How does one become a metaphysician (initially)? HERE
  • How does one become a metaphysician (advanced)? HERE


1. (used with a sing. verb) Philosophy The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
2. (used with a pl. verb) The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline: the metaphysics of law.
3. (used with a sing. verb) priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.
4. (used with a sing. verb) Excessively subtle or recondite reasoning.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

L.I.N.K.S. that Lure, Intrigue, Nurture, Kindle, or Stimulate, Part 10: Finger Length Ratio and Personality

L.I.N.K.S. that Lure, Intrigue, Nurture, Kindle, or Stimulate, Part 10:

Finger Length Ratio and Personality

This 10th edition of L.I.N.K.S. is inspired by my recent pop psychology post on Finger Length Ratio and Personality which observed that the length of your ring finger was determined before you were even born. That post concluded with the open-ended observation that many other aspects of your appearance and even your personality may be in-born, and thus largely out of your direct control.

Coming as I do from the "Leaders are made, not born" school, the realization that I find the thought that some behavior is inborn a tad unsettling. I wanted to follow-up with some links (10 links, as a matter of fact--in honor of the 10th edition of L.I.N.K.S.!) to additional reading on the subject for those of you curious enough to explore this topic in a bit more detail. I welcome your comments.

Ten annotated L.I.N.K.S.
  1. Five Things a Man's Finger Length Says About Him. The ratio of digits' lengths could hint at everything from personality to intellect to physiology to propensity for disease. 
  2. Finger length ratio can predict aggressive behavior and risk of disease. Researchers continue to study what sparks these hormonal changes and have begun looking at environmental chemical exposure, stress levels and diet during pregnancy. 
  3. Polite, promiscuous... gay? What does your ring finger say about you? The longer your ring finger is is compared to your index finger, the greater chance you will be polite and happy, straight, rich or handsome, with a long penis. But, on the down side, you will have a much higher than average chance of developing prostate cancer. 
  4. How the length of a woman's fingers reveals her Career: Short index finger hints that she's more likely to be in high-powered role. The idea is that a low 2D:4D ratio is associated with more aggressive behavior. Contrast this with the findings in article #10. 
  5. Study: Finger length a tell-tale sign of a cheater? A study of 1,300 men and women in England and the United States found that those with same-length ring and index fingers are more likely to “stay” with a committed partner. Those whose ring fingers are longer than their index fingers may be more likely to “stray,” as the authors of the study put it.
  6. Can you judge a man by his fingers? Examining the link between relative lengths of index and ring fingers in men and their behavior towards women. Men with short index fingers and long ring fingers are on average nicer towards women. This phenomenon stems from their fetal life, and the hormones these men have been exposed to in their mother's womb. The findings might help explain why these men have more children.
  7. Personality Isn't Random. A large component of a child's personality in inherited from that child's parents, and siblings tend to have far more in common with each other than two people their age in the general population. This article came close to making a connection between finger length and MBTI. 
  8. Penis Size: It May Be Written in the Length of His Fingers. Long ring fingers are associated with larger penile length in males and enlarged clitorises an shallow vaginas in women.
  9. Human 2D (index) and 4D (ring) finger lengths and ratios: cross-sectional data on linear growth patterns, sexual dimorphism and lateral asymmetry from 4 to 60 years of age. The study examines how absolute and relative digit lengths vary over a wide range of postnatal ages, and tests whether these variables are influenced by gender, laterality and handedness effects.
  10. Finger length ratio (2D:4D) correlates with physical aggression in men but not in women. Finger length ratio (2D:4D) is a sexually dimorphic trait. Men have relatively shorter second digits (index fingers) than fourth digits (ring fingers). Smaller, more masculine, digit ratios are thought to be associated with either higher prenatal testosterone levels or greater sensitivity to androgens, or both.

Incidentally, there is a lot of junk science out there, too, and plenty of bad or misleading links. Here is an example of a link that did not make the list. Anytime I see the word "THIS" or lots of ALL CAPS or exclamation points (!!) in the title of an article, I dismiss the article, the author, and the source.

Finger Length Ratio and Personality, Part 2: Getting Specific

Here is a follow-up to my recent post on Finger Length Ratio and Personality in which we attempt to get more accurate about measuring the ratios, a bit more descriptive about the differences between men and women (on average) and slightly more detailed about what any of this might mean. 

Figure 1. A technique for more accurately measuring and calculating the 2D:4D ratio

Don't just look at the back of your left hand, as suggested in the popular Higher Perspectives article. Put both hands palms down on a copier and make a life-sized photocopy. Then, on the copy, mark the base and the tip of the 2nd and 4th digits of both hands as shown in the example. Measure and tabulate the length of all four fingers. Calculate the finger length ratios by dividing 2D by 4D.

Perhaps your left and right hands are symmetrical, as they appear to be in the above example. In this case, the left- and right-hand ratios will be identical. If your subject's hands are not symmetrical, use the ratio with the largest absolute distance from 1. Some studies suggest that the right hand is more accurate, but I suspect that this is because most people are right-hand dominant. Use which ever hand has the more pronounced effect.

I used data from Bailey and Hurd (March 2005) to make the figure below. In a sample of  134 people, the distribution of men's finger length ratios has a mean of 0.947 and a standard deviation of 0.029. For women, the statistics are 0.965 and 0.026.

Figure 2. Finger Length Ratios of Men and Women

Given these probability density functions, I set out to construct the corresponding cumulative distribution functions, so that we could more accurately estimate the percentages of men and women who have a 2D:4D ratio in defined ranges. Recall that in our previous study, Group A had a ratio less than 1, Group B had a ratio greater than 1, and Group C had a ratio equal to 1.

Fig. 3. The Higher Perspectives categories

To operationalize the Higher Perspectives model, I define Group A as less than 0.98, Group B will have ratios over 1.02, and those in Group C will have ratios that fall between 0.98 and 1.02.

Figure 3. Cumulative density functions of the Bailey and Hurd data for men and women

Using the cumulative density functions of the Bailey and Hurd data for men and women, I made the table shown below.  Approximately 85% of men and 70% of women will fall into Group A with a finger length ration less than 0.98. Twice as many women (28%) as men (14.4%) will have approximately equal ring and index fingers, placing them in Group B. Only a very small percentage of the population (2% of women and only 0.6% of men) will have longer index fingers, indicating very little androgen exposure in utero, and landing them in Group C.

Table 1. Groups A, B, and C Defined in terms of Finger Length Ratios for Men and Women

Obviously, we could opt to make Group C wider at the expense of Groups A and B and then adjust the population proportions. However, any difference between 2D and 4D that is perceptible to the unaided eye will cause a reasonable person to place the result into Group A or B. Group C should be narrowly defined within the limits of human perception, or the group divisions lack credibility. The eye can easily detect an eighth of an inch of difference at arm's length, but 1/16th is tough. Increasing the subject's index finger by 1/16th of an inch changes the ratio to 3.1875:3.25 or 0.9808--apparently equal to the unaided eye and nearly equal in real terms.

OK, now you are asking, "So what? Where are we going with this?"

I am glad you asked. The finger length ratio is determined in the womb, based on the amount of the androgen testosterone present in utero. Men are more likely to have longer ring fingers and a 2D:4D ratio less than 1. A lower 2D;4D ratio is associated with exaggerated masculine traits in both men and women. I wondered myself, is this useful information, or just some sort of genetic parlor trick like seeing who among your friends can curl their tongue or cross only one eye? A longer ring finger is no excuse for inappropriate behavior, but it may help explain why some folks are more naturally aggressive and risk-seeking than others. Simple markers such as finger length ratios may help us identify people who will need additional training and reinforcement to, for example, remain calm while driving.

And speaking only for myself, I find that kind of information very useful.


Bailey, A,A,, and Hurd, P.L.. (March 2005). "Finger length ratio (2D:4D) correlates with physical aggression in men but not in women." Biological Psychology. 68 (3): 215–22. 

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month

The Todd Tree is Thriving

February 16th would have been my middle brother Todd's 52d birthday. To commemorate his birthday and celebrate his life, I planted an acorn from a Seeds of Life kit. The kit was provided with great compassion by my colleagues at Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC).

On Easter, I published a photo of the first glimpse of the seedling poking up through the soil and moss. The accompanying text featured a timely quote from Mark Nepo's Book of Awakening.

Ninety days after Todd's birthday, in the middle of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, I took the above photo. This shows that--since first peeking above the ground on Easter--Todd's tree is thriving. The framed photo of Todd is his memorial brochure. He seems to appreciate his seedling's progress.

I do not understand cancer. I cannot bring my brother back. The mysteries of life and death are beyond my comprehension. I cannot explain why the spark of life left my brother in the middle of his extraordinary life. I do not understand how the spark of life was ignited in that little acorn, the seed from a far away red oak tree.

Like the acorn, I am planted in dark despair and buried in cold uncertainty. In the midst of eternal emptiness, some mysterious spark speaks to me. Do the best I can with what I have where I am.

I can:

  • honor my brother's memory. 
  • nurture the seedling that is now a living memorial, and someday plant it in the forest near my home. 
  • surrender my ego-driven desire to know and understand, and accept some things on faith. The seed cracks open without understanding why.
  • show compassion to others in the fight--patients, caregivers, and family
  • trust science and support those working to find a cure. 

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. You can join the fight to find a cure for brain tumors:

  • promote awareness about brain tumors; 
  • help fund brain tumor research; and 
  • reach out to patients and caregivers who are in the fight. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

That's How the Light Gets In

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything. 
That's how the light gets in.

from the lyrics to 





The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Finger Length Ratio and Personality

If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you have probably seen this illustration of the 2D (2nd digit, or index finger) to 4D (4th digit, aka ring finger) ratio.  

Illustration of the three possible 2D:4D ratio outcomes. Source: Higher Perspective 

Have a look at your hands, and in particular, the length of your fingers. Compare the length of your index finger (the second digit), to that of your ring finger aka the 4th digit. If your 2d digit is shorter, you will have a 2D:4D ratio less than one. If your index finger is longer, you'll have a ratio greater than one. If your two digits are the same length, you will have a 2D:4D ratio of one (or very close to it).

But of what significance is this? It turns out that the amount of testosterone present in the womb influences the 2D:4D ratio. A growing body of research tracing back to the late 1800s indicates that the amount of testosterone present in the womb also helps determine one's personality. Wikipedia offers the following:

"It has been suggested by some scientists that the ratio of [the] two digits ... is affected by exposure to androgens e.g. testosterone while in the uterus, and that this 2D:4D ratio can be considered a crude measure for prenatal androgen exposure, with lower 2D:4D ratios pointing to higher prenatal androgen exposure."
"A number of studies have shown a correlation between the 2D:4D ratio and various physical and behavioral traits."

Some examples of physical and behavioral traits are shown in a table. In the area of cognition and personality, low digit ratios are associated with:

  • Assertiveness in females
  • Aggression in males
  • Masculinity of handwriting
  • Perceived 'dominance' and masculinity of man's face
  • In an orchestral context, rank and musical ability in males
  • Academic performance
  • Maths ability

By comparison, in the same cognition and personality topic area, high digit ratios are associated with:

  • Personality traits correlated with digit ratio, higher being more feminized
  • Paranormal and superstitious beliefs among men with a higher digit ratio
  • Higher exam scores among male students

One version of the so-called Finger Length Personality Test currently making the rounds was published April 17, 2015 at Higher Perspective. Entitled, "Here’s What Your Finger Length Reveals About Your Personality," this version comes with an explanation of the results that seems to hold true for myself and everyone I have checked (so far).

A) The charming but pragmatic one
Low digit ratio: People who have a ring finger longer than the index finger tend to be charming and irresistible to some at least. A’s are the ones who can talk themselves out of just about any situation. Additionally, they’re aggressive and excellent problem solvers. They tend to be incredibly compassionate and are often scientists, engineers, soldiers, and crossword puzzle masters.
B) The confident, get-it-done type
High digit ratio: People with shorter ring fingers than index fingers are the self-confident, get-it-done types. They love solitude in which to work and accomplish the things they need to do, but that doesn't necessarily indicate introversion. They’re very goal oriented and don’t like to be disturbed. They appreciate what they have but often hunger for more.
C) The peacenik
C’s are the peace-loving conflict-avoiding types. People with even ring and index finger length are well organized and want nothing but to get along with everyone. They are faithful in relationships, tender and caring partners, but beware: C’s have a fiery core that while suppressed in normal day-to-day activities can be dangerous if unleashed. They might be peaceniks, but please, stay on their good side.
So go ahead, look at your digits and figure out whether you are an A, B, or C. Do you agree with Higher Perspective's analysis?

The length of your ring fingers was determined before birth. What other aspects of your physiology and personality were similarly "baked in" with no active choice on your part?