Replicated nil associations of digit ratio (2D:4D) and absolute finger lengths with implicit and explicit measures of aggression

Martin Voracek, Stefan Stieger

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

26 Citations (Scopus)


Preliminary evidence suggests that within-sex individual variation in the length ratio of the index finger to the ring finger (2D:4D), a putative marker of prenatal androgen levels, may be more strongly or consistently related to implicit measures (Implicit Association Test, IAT) than to corresponding explicit (self-report) measures of candidate personality traits. The underlying logic is that the non-introspective IAT may reflect earlier and inaccessible experiences, whereas introspective self-reports reflect more recent and necessarily accessible experiences. Associations of 2D:4D and absolute finger length (a marker of pubertal-adolescent androgen levels) with implicit versus explicit aggression measures (IAT vs. Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire and a feeling thermometer) were examined in two samples with identical procedures (Ns=244 and 233). Attesting to procedural validity and data typicality, several experiments of related research were replicated in both samples, including sex differences in 2D:4D and theory compliant interrelations among psychometric measures. However, no theory compliant, reliable, or replicable associations of 2D:4D or finger length with implicit or explicit aggression measures resulted. These nil findings cast doubt on hypothesized advantages of implicitly (over explicitly) measured target traits for 2D:4D research. More generally, they add to a growing number of replication failures in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-389
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aggression/psychology
  • Female
  • Fingers/anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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