Digit ratio (2D:4D) and prosocial behavior in economic games: No direct correlation with generosity, bargaining, or trust-related behaviors
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The Royal Society Publishing
Social behavior2D: 4D digit ratiosTestosteroneFairnessEconomic Games
Brañas-Garza, P., Espín, A. M., García-Muñoz, T., & Kovářík, J. (2019). Digit ratio (2D: 4D) and prosocial behaviour in economic games: no direct correlation with generosity, bargaining or trust-related behaviours. Biology letters, 15(8), 20190185.
Prenatal exposure to sex hormones exerts organizational effects on the brain which have observable behavioural correlates in adult life. There are reasons to expect that social behaviours—fundamental for the evolutionary success of humans—might be related to biological factors such as prenatal sex hormone exposure. Nevertheless, the existing literature is inconclusive as to whether and how prenatal exposure to testosterone and oestrogen, proxied by the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D : 4D), may predict non-selfish behaviour. Here, we investigate this question using economic experiments with real monetary stakes and analyse five different dimensions of social behaviour in a comparatively large sample of Caucasian participants (n = 560). For both males and females, our results show no robust association between right- or left-hand 2D : 4D and generosity, bargaining or trust-related behaviours. Moreover, no differences in behaviour were found according to sex. We conclude that there is no direct correlation between 2D : 4D and these social behaviours.