Among the more bizarre stories of the day, here's a study that claims to be able to predict your child's future SAT performance based on the relative lengths of his fingers.  Those whose ring fingers are longer compared with their index fingers are statistically likely to do better on the math portion, and those with the reverse situation to do better on the verbal.  This supposedly reflects prenatal testosterone/estrogen exposure.

It's a lot harder to measure finger length than I thought.  I finally settled on measuring from the knuckle, and it seems my ring finger is a bit longer than my index.  It's true, I did very well on the math portion of the SAT.  But I did even better on the verbal, so I must have measured wrong.  :)

The researchers plan to expand their studies into "other cognitive and behavioral issues, such as technophobia, career paths and possibly dyslexia."

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, May 25, 2007 at 7:46 am | Edit
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Just looking at my fingers, my ring finger is noticably longer than my index finger. Do I need to be more precise?
I do not remember my math vs. verbal scores on the SAT, but I do know that when I do the SAT question of the day, I find it much easier to do the verbal questions than the math ones. Perhaps that is because I have continued to read after college, but have not continued to study math and therefore do not remember many of the formulas you need to know for the SAT.
I do remember that on the aptitude tests they gave in high school, I got my highest scores in spatial awareness. They would have you take a flat shape and visually fold it along the dotted lines and tell them what it would end up looking like.

Posted by dstb on Friday, May 25, 2007 at 9:00 am

Unfortunately, the articles I found on the study were not precise in how to measure finger length. Surprise, surprise.

You did best on those mental-folding tests? I am impressed. I found them very difficult. I'll bet Johnny (The Origami Guy) blew them away, though.

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, May 25, 2007 at 9:59 am

This reminds me of the time when they thought they could predict criminal behavior by the measurements of the head. This statistical link is helpful how?

Posted by IrishOboe on Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 12:40 am

Oh dear. I knew I should have looked up "phrenology" before I posted . . . You can delete my comment if you care to hide my shame. ;)

Posted by IrishOboe on Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 12:41 am

I'd delete your comments but I'm so pleased that someone else had the exact same reaction I did! It's not shameful at all—I'm sure you're not the only one wondering about "phrenology." Now the others don't have to bother finding a dictionary. Besides, you can delete your own comments. ;)

(Does anyone use dictionaries these days? What I do depends on what room I'm in. If I'm in my office, I just look the word up online.)

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 6:36 am
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