New Study Links Lengthy Ring Finger to a Person’s Verbal Aggressiveness

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A new study lead by Allison Shaw has found that verbal aggression may have biological causes that can be identified by the ratio of length of a person's ring finger to the length of the index finger.

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The next time you’re on a date, you may want to take a glance at your date’s ringer finger and their index finger. If their ring finger extends the length of their index finger, you may be dating someone who is verbal aggressive, according to a new study.

A team of researchers lead by Allison Z. Shaw, assistant professor of communication at the University at Buffalo, has found that verbal aggression (e.g. name calling, ridicule, insults, racial epithets, threats, etc.) may have biological causes that can be identified by the length of a person’s ring finger (second digit or 2D) to the length of the index finger (fourth digit or 4D).

These findings have implications for our understanding of the proximal and distal causes of verbal aggression,” Shaw says. “They suggest that verbally aggressive behavior may be provoked by biologically based differences in people’s attention to potentially threatening stimuli (such as a sigh), their appraisal of the stimuli as threatening, and the resulting decision to respond and produce messages that are verbally aggressive. This study is the first step in gaining a better understanding of this process and may allow us to develop more sophisticated techniques to inhibit such types of responses,” says Shaw.

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