Recently I was posed a question. A woman emailed us at the Science of Love and said Dawn, my girlfriend and I are going to do speed –dating, where we only get 5 minutes to meet someone. Any chance, there’s an easy scientific way to spot the winners from the losers? Signed Kate
Well Kate, it turns out there may actually be an simply way to spot a winner.
In one often quoted study, researchers in London followed 17 traders for 8 consecutive business days, taking saliva samples twice per day, At each sampling time, traders recorded their profit and loss. They found that the men with higher testosterone levels tended to have higher economic return.
Scientists have also found the testosterone levels rises, in athletes preparing for a competition. And it rises even further in the winning athlete, while falling in the losing one. The testosterone priming of the winner can increase confidence and risk taking and improve chances of winning yet again, leading to a positive-feedback loop termed the “winner effect.”
In many species, the male with the most testosterone is the alpha male and tends to win most of the females.
Therefore if you are looking for a winner, or the human equal to an alpha male, you can simply looked for one with the most testosterone. But how do you figure that out? Science can tell you the way.
A simply way to do this is to look at the fingers on his dominant hand. Biologist have discovered that testosterone exposure in vivo or before birth caused the second and fourth finger to be about even. This is called the 2D:4D effect. The men who’s pointer finger and ring finger are the same size, has had more testosterone exposure and are mostly likely a risk-takers, and therefore, potentially more successful.
However, there is a down side to risk taking. Sometimes the risk-taking doesn’t stop at business or sports. It can spill over into his personal life. For example, multi-millionaire, businessman, politician and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s took a risk with his marriage to have an affair with a housekeeper. And of course, the poster boy of sexual risk taking, multi-millionaire golfer Tiger Woods and his many multiply random affairs.
Therefore the 2D:4D effect is not perfect. But, it is handy.