Digit ratio is linked to affective empathy in women

Vera Kempe, Emer Heffernan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    We tested whether links exist between 2D:4D and affective vs. cognitive empathy. Sixty men and sixty women completed a questionnaire testing these two aspects of empathy. Finger lengths were measured directly using digital callipers. The results showed a positive relationship between left 2D:4D and affective empathy in women when right 2D:4D and age were controlled. These findings suggest that prenatal testosterone exposure may exert organisational effects on affective reactions to other individuals’ affective states more than on Theory of Mind or social skills.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)430-433
    Number of pages4
    JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • 2D:4D digit ratio
    • Affective empathy
    • Cognitive empathy


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