Smarts
Charlotte Hannah
February 26, 2013

Of Course the Length of Your Ring Finger Predicts How Successful You’ll Be


Forget brain power, good looks or aptitude. When it comes to getting ahead in life, success is all down to the size of a woman’s ring finger.

According to the latest scientific study, the length of a female’s ring finger can predict her entrepreneurial skills, career preferences and a host of other traits essential to success in a high stakes, successful career.

So says the opening lines of a recent article from the Daily Mail. Did you hear that, ladies? The entirety of your personal and professional success comes down to whether you’ve got a long ring finger or not (to you idiots with a short one, the ring finger is the one the big, shiny engagement ring goes on – that is, if any man ever pities you enough to marry your loser ass).

If you’re sporting a ring finger that’s shorter than your index finger (the one you pick your nose with, you dolts), you might as well just give up now and spare the rest of us the expense of having to carry you along. I bet you’re too busy buying lotto tickets and getting Cheetos dust all over everything to even be reading this right now. I bet you can’t even read.

Upon which super-scientific study did the Mail base its bold, hyperbolic claim? A series of interviews with over 2,000 Italian small business owners, both male and female, during which each subject answered questions about themselves and had their hand photographed. The researchers, economists Aldo Rustichini and Luigi Guiso, concluded that people with longer ring fingers tended to be more assertive and likely to take risks, as well as have greater spatial ability and more success in certain competitive sports.

The long ring finger crowd also tended to run bigger, faster growing companies, and seemed to have a higher capacity for dealing with large workloads. Coincidentally, because ring finger length in comparison to index finger length (a factor called “digit ratio”) is influenced by testosterone exposure in the womb, men tend to have longer ring fingers. And due to a variety of factors – both biological and sociological — men tend to be (or at least rate themselves as being) more assertive and bigger risk takers. And they’re more often found at the helm of large companies.

So the Mail’s assertion that a woman’s — specifically a woman’s — success in business is determined by the length of her ring finger, taken from a study that includes both men and women is a bit dodgy. Not to mention the fact that other studies have shown digit ratio has little to do with traits like assertiveness. (In fact, one study found a far greater correlation between higher weight and BMI with passivity in women – a far more interesting conclusion, I think.)

Over the years, plenty of studies — with varying degrees of actual scientific-ness — have been conducted on the supposed connection between digit ratio and just about everything. They often conflict with one another, and because personality is shaped by so many factors, they don’t really tell us much about our personalities or success in various fields. So don’t feel discouraged if your ring finger and index finger are about the same length.

Take it from someone who has a long ring finger but can’t do simple math in her head and can rarely get it together enough to even remember to do laundry – a long ring finger doesn’t equal being a successful person. Trust me.