DMIT: INA NUT-SHELL
Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Test (DMIT) is a fingerprint analysis that allegedly claims that it can ‘predict’ what profession one should choose in order to succeed. DMIT is the new buzzword in town, which has amalgamated scientific study of fingerprints with personality prediction. Almost everyone is talking about it these days. It has become increasingly popular in the East Asian countries like Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, India and Nepal. So, have you DMITed your kid? If not; well, that’s good news. It is a bogus falsified propaganda that is backed by no scientific evidence.
Dermatoglyphics (from Latin derma: skin and glyph: carving), is the scientific analysis of fingerprints. It is associated with the branches of science like embryology, genetics, forensics, neurology, etc. It is used extensively to distinguish normal brain functioning from disorders like schizophrenia, Down’s syndrome, etc. Originally, fingerprints were firstly worked upon by Sir Francis Galton. But, Dr. Harold Cummins coined the term and introduced scientific fingerprint analysis in America for the first time. Fingerprints start to form as early as during the 10th week of gestation. But, their proper development occurs from 13th to 19th week. The neocortex of our brain, which is responsible for higher functions like intelligence – starts developing at the same stage too.
Multiple intelligence is, too, a scientific theory that was propounded by Prof. Dr. Howard Gardner, of Harvard University. He argues that the intellectual abilities of a person or a child can be distinguished into nine types namely: linguistic, mathematical/logical, visual, kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential. This is in contrast with the old idea that a person has just three abilities of learning: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The presence of multiple personalities, according to him, is in all human beings but in different proportions. In daily life, the personality traits are reflected as hobby, aim, satisfaction, ego, interest and gratification. For instance: a child having musical intelligence tends to love music at an early age.
However, DMIT is the commercial spin-off word for 'test of multiple intelligence by studying fingerprints'. It asserts that finger print carvings are the reflections of intelligence in people. This idea of incorporating finger print study with multiple intelligence was first unrolled in Singapore by a couple and their Chinese counterpart, in the early 90s. They combined Howard's theory to generate a pattern, and then they incorporated that into a software to be able to be used commercially. Till date, the name ‘DMIT’ has spread just to Asian countries like Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, India, and Nepal; but somewhat less heard of in UK, Australia, USA and other western countries. DMIT claims to discover the innate or in-born characteristics of a person with an accuracy of 99.5%. The discrete distribution of proportion of multiple intelligence also, as it claims, is accessible. While learning styles: visual, auditory or kinesthetic have yet to ring scientific bells with objective clarity, DMIT goes one step further and circumvents the learning styles with confidence. Let, there be no more wrangling over the pursuits of career. Employee recruitment is as easy as waving a magical wand over your professional head. DMIT peeks into your so-called most-mysterious-machine thingy called brain too. The complicated brain functions that puzzles the big brainy neuro-geeks – gives, them at ease, the totality of soothing pleasure: it says it all – from understanding brain function to interpreting them.
How fantastic would it be if fake testimonials would readily be sublimed to being indoctrinated objective beliefs? Had it been all true! This falsified marketing propaganda has successfully hatched in countries with weak consumer rights policies or with root pro-consumer-hack policies.
It’s all easier done than said, ironically. The process is simply very effortless that requires a couple of minutes. A fingerprint scanner, connected to a computer with a software, scans the prints of all fingers. The prints of all ten fingers and/or palm (depending on the software) are taken and recorded into the software. The acquired data is then sent to a Singapore based company - if at all, we should believe it; however, till then, there is nothing wrong with it. Within a couple of days, a 25-30 pages final report is generated. The further process is the ‘counseling’ of parents and their children regarding the analytical interpretation of the report. DMIT, too claims to come to use in employee recruitment by distinguishing ‘fit’ employees from the ‘unfit’ ones.
DMIT has been widely marketed by various NGOs and private companies in Nepal too. The product is marketed by Thumb rule Nepal Pvt. Ltd, one of the very first to bring this idea to the general public, and also a joint venture of Thumbrule Dermatoglyphics Pvt. Ltd, India or, as it claims, a joint venture of Singapore based company. Another company called BCL Nepal Pvt. Ltd. also claims, through its website, to have solely registered the patent of the methodology of this technique, in the US patent office. The test/training centres are in various parts of the country like Maharajgunj, Teku, Dharan, Nepalgunj and other parts of Nepal.
On the one hand, dermatoglyphics is the real science which has its application in various fields of neurology, embryology, psychology, etc., but, on the other hand, DMIT is just a commercial spin off word for marketing a commercial product with falsified claims. While dermatoglyphics has its limited use in diagnosing the abnormal functions of brain through the study of the fingerprint parameters like patterns, angles and formations; DMIT, however, is the amalgamation of dermatoglyphics and multiple intelligence theory into software, which has turned real science to make bogus claims. There is no scientific research by any universities or scientists to prove that DMIT works and is a real science. It is almost like a cake of palmistry developed into a software with a little bit of vanilla science on it! Unfortunately, it is just recording our fingerprints for other purposes that we are not being communicated to. If, at all, this thing is true, still there are no scientific evidences for it, not even a speck of it. With a quick search for words like “dermatoglyphics”, “DMIT” and other such words, only commercial websites of Asian based companies are seen. The gullible West: US, and Europe, have paid no or very little attention to this. This is because there are no legal and scientific back up for this method and their law might deem it as perpetrating a crime through falsification of bogus propaganda.
Furthermore, the parameters of fingerprint analysis also give a different picture than what is being conveyed. Parameters like AtD angle (angle between forefinger and pinky finger), whorls, arches and loops exhibit only abstract characteristics of human, rather than materialistic ones. Participants are categorized as cognitive learners, affective learners and such and such, based on AtD angle - those who have whorls are cognitive learners, AtD angles indicate effective or affective learners and so on. Again, these abstractions are all vague descriptions with no quantifiable and measureable attributes. They are merely of linguistic values, if at all. So, the test of ‘multiple intelligence in human’ is a function of brain electrophysiology rather than just fingerprints. Most of the marketing companies and their websites’ advertise in the vaguest way possible – “shaping the child’s future, knowing the inner abilities, pursuing a dream…” If you are a fan of it, bear it – it’s pseudoscience, and it is illegally perpetrating its ill motive too. There are several stories of people all over the internet which claim its truth, but they are just testimonials and not the evidence. It is analogous to saying that the person who has witnessed a murder happen is actually an eye witness and not the evidence herself. This is thus a pseudoscience: using a part of science but concluding with baseless results. Unless it is scientifically proven, it can be considered just as a faith like palmistry and even god.
There should be extensive investigation to show, if at all, the relationship exists between fingerprints and intelligence of a person. To the truth, intelligence is shaped by nurture, balanced diet, socio economic attributes, environmental factors, rather than it is discovered by the study of fingerprints. Intelligence has more to do with neural connections and pathways than it has to do with fingerprints. It has its own advantages, though. DMIT trivializes the now erect fact that every child is special and can excel in any field, provided that he/she invests enough time on it. Apparently, what DMIT is doing is crushing, stumping and squandering children based on pseudoscience; which otherwise, if incorporated in countries with strict consumer laws, would deem it illegal and people practicing these malpractices could be booked for marketing products that have unsubstantial fallacies. Well, you may try luck (whatever it means) if you want to – you never know what may come out of it, but, the cardinal fact is that decisions that are based on this test might affect what really your child can be of use, in the days to come. Try at your own risk!
(appeared originally in THT)