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Keywords:

  • testosterone;
  • sex differences;
  • personality;
  • digit ratio;
  • 2D:4D;
  • Cattell;
  • 16PF

Abstract

The ratio between second and fourth finger (2D:4D) is sexually dimorphic; it is lower in men than in women. Studies using broad personality domains yielded correlations of 2D:4D with neuroticism, extraversion or agreeableness, but the obtained results have been inconsistent. We correlated 2D:4D of 184 women and 101 men with their scores in Cattell's 16 Personality Factor (16PF) Questionnaire. We found women with a higher (more ‘feminine’) right hand 2D:4D to score lower in emotional stability and social boldness and higher in privateness. Mediator analysis showed emotional stability to be probably primarily correlated with 2D:4D and to act as a mediator between 2D:4D and social boldness. Privateness appears to be mediated by an even more complex path. We discuss the usefulness of primary-level personality questionnaires and mediator analyses in the investigation of psycho-morphological associations. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.