What if there was a way to tell someone’s personality by simply looking at their hands? According to the latest Japanese trend, there is. Japanese hand test theory assures that the other person’s fingers can tell all you need to know before making a move. For example,
- Do they like to be approached or prefer to do the “hunting” themselves?
- What are their key personality traits?
- Are they risk takers?
- Are they likely to succeed financially?
In Japan, this hand test was first popularized by a TV show, then spread like wildfire on social media sites. More reliable than blood type personality theory, the hand test (or digit ratio theory, as it’s known in the West) might have at least some truth to it.
But digit ratio theory isn’t exactly a Japanese thing. A number of US and UK studies confirmed a correlation between 2D:4D ratio and various physical and behavioral traits some years ago [proof].
2D:4D ratio is calculated by dividing the length of the index finger [2D] by the length of the ring finger [4D]. A longer index finger would result in a ratio higher than 1. A longer ring finger would result in a ratio lower than 1.
In addition, it was known since 1800s that men tend to have shorter index fingers than ring fingers, which was mentioned several times in scientific literature of that period. A study conducted in 1930 confirmed a statistically significant difference between men and women as well.
In 1983, a study examined the correlation between assertiveness in women and their digit ratio. Women whose index fingers were shorter than their ring fingers were more likely to describe themselves as assertive and competitive [Glenn D. Wilson, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, U.K., abstract].
According to Pete Hurd, a neuroscientist at the University of Alberta, it’s a surge of testosterone during fetal development that is responsible for some of our behaviors and health conditions; one of the easiest ways to find out whether you’d experienced this testosterone flood is to look at the length of your second and fourth fingers [source].
According to the research, a ring finger that is significantly longer than the index finger is associated with
- verbal sparring,
- mental toughness,
- great athletic abilities,
- higher aggressiveness,
- willingness to take risks,
- some health conditions such as osteoarthritis in women and prostate cancer in men.
A longer list of associated health conditions can be found here.
But the Japanese do not seem to be concerned with health complications of having high or low digit ratio nearly as much as they are concerned with their love life — quite surprising turn of events for the country where 40 percent of singles in their 20s and 30s assure they aren’t even interested in romance [source].
The Japanese version of digit ratio theory says that depending on the length of your fingers, you are either nikushokukei, which literally means “meat eater” or soushokukei or “vegetarian”. Basically, when it comes to love, nikushokukei are pursuers and soushokukei are those who prefer to be pursued.
Here’s nikushokukei‘s hand:
You can clearly see that nikushokukei’s index finger [2D] is shorter than the ring finger [4D]. Speaking in digit ratio theory terms, this would result in a ratio lower than 1.
Research conducted in 2008 found that most successful high-frequency financial traders tend to have low digit ratio [research paper]. They would be called nikushokukei in Japan.
Other than being a pursuer in love, the “nikushokukei” type is thought to be confident and ambitious. Unless they are a leader, they prefer to be working alone. Highly assertive in matters of love and work, they have a logical approach to things; and if they get involved into something, they are involved deeply.
And here is soushokukei‘s hand:
Soushokukei’s ring finger is shorter than the index finger. In terms of digit ratio theory, this would mean a ratio higher than one.
Soushokukei or “vegetarian” is less likely to show an initiative in love and is more likely to wait to be approached. According to the Japanese, this type is less aggressive and prefers a laid-back lifestyle.
In the Japanese version of digit ratio theory, there is a third type too — zasshokukei or “multicolored”. “Multicolored” second and fourth fingers are about equal.
According to the Japanese version of the test, zasshokukei are those who have a freedom-loving spirit and who do a little bit of both pursuing and playing hard to get. They have an active social life and are notoriously non-committal.
So next time you are on a date with someone new, you might want to look at your sweetheart’s hands before you get too invested.
If you made it this far, you might also like
- Blood Type Personality Traits in Asia
- Yin Yang Test
- Four Temperaments
- Body Language of the Hands
- Holding Hands in Body Language