THE RELATION OF DIGIT RATIO (2D:4D) AND ABSOLUTE FINGER LENGTH TO PAVLOVIAN TEMPERAMENT DIMENSIONS1

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Abstract

The associations of digit ratio (2D:4D), a likely marker for prenatal androgen exposure, and absolute finger length, a likely marker for postnatal androgen exposure, with self-reports on three Pavlovian temperament dimensions (strength of excitation, strength of inhibition, and mobility of nervous processes) were investigated in a sample of 84 men and 114 women. In men, left-hand 2D:4D was weakly, but significantly, negatively associated with strength of inhibition, and also weakly negatively, but not significantly, associated with the two other temperament dimensions. These effects were absent for men’s right-hand 2D:4D. Finger lengths of both hands in men were weakly, but significantly, positively associated with mobility of nervous processes scores. All associations for women were negligible. Both prenatal and postnatal androgen action may contribute to small amounts of individual differences in Pavlovian temperament dimensions in men but apparently not in women.

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