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Final Project
"The Secret of the Ring"

1 Introduction:
     We can give variable impressions by our clothes or adornments. For
example, wearing a suit gives formal impression and wearing jeans gives
casual impression. And, rings seem to have something more special meaning
for us. Such as engagement rings and wedding rings do. We can even judge
whether a person is engaged or married by checking his left ring finger. In the
reverse, it can be said that a person wearing a ring on his left ring finger gives
the sign of having a partner, no matter intentionally or not. Then, does this
happen to only these two types of rings? I say no. In our generation, a girl
wearing a ring on her ring finger (no matter right or left) is sometimes thought
to have a boyfriend. Though the number of the boys wearing a ring seems to be
fewer, in case of boys it is the same. This was interesting but undeveloped
theme. I found there is certain degree of uncertainty in this nonverbal
communication by rings. Because the way of wearing a ring isn’t decided in low
at all and it depends on our custom or common sense. I want to find how
accurate and believable our judgments by rings are. I think we should know
this not to misunderstand each other. Therefore, I investigated how large is
this judgment spread among our generation.
2 Literature review:
     We girls like talking about love, not only of ourselves but also someone’s
rumors. When I do this kind of talking, I often hear my friends’ saying like, “I
like him but he wears the ring on his ring finger… He must have a girlfriend,
so I’d better give up with him!” or, “Did you she her new ring? She didn’t wear
that last week. She got a new boyfriend! Let’s mail to her and make it clear!”
This shows how important position rings are put in our generation’s love life.
Besides, rings usually appear in songs, movies, dramas, and novels as a symbol
of love. I’ll show you the part of the lyrics of my favorite song “True Romance”,
for example. Here is one verse of the song. “When our hands touched, I forgot
the promise of my ring”. The song was released in 2002. The singer is a
Japanese singer Lyrico, and the song is about extramarital relations. It is clear
that her ring is a symbol of her marriage.
     When ever rings became a symbol of love like the above facts? Actually,



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rings have a very long history. The beginning of ring’s history is the ancient
Rome. That time rings didn’t have the meaning of love, worn just as adornment.
But, I found one interesting story. People thought that only left hand has the
right to wear a ring, and especially third finger was considered to be “ring
finger”. Then, the ancient Roman used a plane iron ring as an evidence of
pledge for the first, and the pledge concluded engagement of course. At the
beginning of 4 A.D., letter like “honey” was carve on the inside of rings.
Macrobius, a Roman writer in 5 A.D., said that people wear engagement rings
on their left third finger. It is because they believed that the third finger had a
special vein, which connected directly with their heart. There was no difference
between engagement ring and wedding ring before. But after the Pope
recommended a period of engagement to know each other more, engagement
rings appeared. Or it is also said that the Pope NicholasⅠ made the rule about
engagement in A.D. 860. The rule provided that people must prepare an
engagement ring for announcement of engagement. A husband to come must
give an expensive ring, which makes economical sacrifice to a wife to come. On
the other hand, wedding ring appeared in 11 A.D. Some people says that Queen
MaryⅠ of England wear a wedding ring for the first, when she got married
with PhilipⅡin 1554. People wear a wedding ring on their left third finger, but
there weren’t any rules. At least, in the last 16th century people wear a wedding
ring on their right ring finger in England. By the west tradition, ring worn on
forefinger means “boldness”, second finger means “classification”, third finger
means “love”, and little finger means “insolence”. Therefore people began to
wear it on their third finger. Wedding ring means “sincerity” and “faithfulness”
for not only the partner but also the church.
     By the way, I must define the rings treated on my paper. I divide rings
into three types according to the reasons for wearing the ring. The first type of
ring concludes the rings just as fashion. The second type of ring is worn for
spiritual reason. For example, rings as charms, rings as tokens, or rings as
proof of friendship, etc. (This type is not a kind of nonverbal communication.
Because these rings don’t intend to communicate with someone, but comfort
owner’s mind.) The last type concludes the rings of love life. That is, the rings
which have something about love. Such as couple rings or rings given by one’s
lover are included in this type. And on my research paper, only the first and
last types of rings are treated. But there is one problem. Sometimes people
might wear a ring for two or more reasons. In that case, I precede the latter



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type of reason. For example, a ring worn for both as a charm and fashion is
categorized in the second type. Or, if a boy gave his girlfriend a ring and she
uses it as a charm, the ring is categorized in the last type. In addition, I set the
designs of rings aside on my paper. Because I concluded that it only makes
things complicated, and it makes no difference as long as the reason of wearing
a ring is clear.
      And my hypothesis is, wearing a ring on one’s ring finger gives people the
impression that he or she has a lover in our generation. Our generation means
age of a college student, concretely from 18 to 22 years old. There are two
reasons why I made this limitation. Firstly, I want to research rings except
engagement and wedding rings because these two rings’ meanings are already
clear. So, I excluded the ages near marriage. Secondly, if younger than 18 years
old, the fewer people have dealings, I thought.
3 Method:
      I made a questionnaire to analyze students’ senses. When I made the
questionnaire, I paid attention to some points. It is obvious that the more
answers I get, the more accurate my research becomes. So first, in order to
gather a lot of answers, I made the questionnaire as interesting and short as
possible. Second, the answers mustn’t be too variable people to people. So I
made it easy to answer, such as “yes or no questions”. And here’s the
questionnaire I made.
Q1. When you saw a woman wearing a ring on her left ring finger, have you
ever judged that the woman is married?
      Yes・No
Q2. When you saw a man wearing a ring on his left ring finger, have you ever
judged that the man is married?
      Yes・No
Q3. If you answered, “Yes” to Q1 or 2, your judgment was…
      Correct cases are more・Fifty-fifty・Incorrect cases are more・Unknown
Q4. When you saw a woman wearing a ring, have you ever judged that the
woman has a boyfriend?
      Yes・No
      → If you answered “Yes”, which finger did the ring on? (Plural is possible)
      Thumb・Forefinger・Second finger・Third finger・Little finger
Q5. When you saw a man wearing a ring, have you ever judged that the man
has a girlfriend?



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     Yes・No
     → If you answered “Yes”, which finger did the ring on? (Plural is possible)
     Thumb・Forefinger・Second finger・Third finger・Little finger
Q6. If you answered, “Yes” to Q4 or 5, your judgment was…
     Correct cases are more・Fifty-fifty・Incorrect cases are more・Unknown
Q7. When you don’t have a boy(girl)friend, have you ever worn any rings?
     Yes・No
     → If you answered “Yes”, which finger did the ring on? (Plural is possible)
     Thumb・Forefinger・Second finger・Third finger・Little finger
Q8. When you have a boy(girl)friend, have you ever worn any rings which was
related to that dealings? (Such as couple rings or rings given by your lover)
     Yes・No
     → If you answered “Yes”, which finger did the ring on? (Plural is possible)
     Thumb・Forefinger・Second finger・Third finger・Little finger
Q9. Imagine that you have a boy(girl)friend, and you give him(her) a ring.
Which finger’s do you choose?
     Thumb・Forefinger・Second finger・Third finger・Little finger・
     Depend on the situation・Never choose a ring for a present
Q10. What do you think rings mean for couples? (Plural is possible)
     Just present・Special present・Existence of a partner・Symbol of boredom
     Atonement・Unknown・Others
     Now, I explain about this questionnaire. This questionnaire can be
divided into three parts roughly. From Q1 to Q6 are objective questions. Q1, 2
and 3 are in order to search students’ common sense of wedding ring, and
compare it with rings given during dealings. Q4, 5 and 6 are main questions. I
divided the question in case of man or woman, so that make it sure whether
there are any differences. From Q7 to Q9 are subjective questions. Q7 and 8
demand answerers to imagine that they wear a ring. When people wear a ring,
they change their fingers according to the ring, I thought. On the other hand,
Q9 demands answerers to imagine that they give their lover a ring. Q10 was
made just because of my interest. Actually, I want to read this part first.
     Here is the Japanese type questionnaire.




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                      これは指輪に関する意識調査です。「指輪=彼氏(彼女)持ち」の信憑性を探ります。

                                       ※    無記名で結構です。性別のみ忘れずにご記入ください。

[性別]   男    ・ 女
Q1.あなたは左手の薬指に指輪をしている女性を見て既婚者だと推測したことはありますか?
       はい   ・   いいえ
Q2.あなたは左手の薬指に指輪をしている男性を見て既婚者だと推測したことはありますか?
       はい   ・   いいえ
Q3.Q1か2で「はい」と答えた方について。その推測の正誤はどうでしたか?
       正しい方が多い        ・   半々   ・   間違いの方が多い          ・   全くもって不明
Q4.あなたは指輪をしている女性を見て彼氏がいると推測したことはありますか?
       はい   ・   いいえ
       →「はい」と答えた方について。それは何指でしたか?(複数可)
       親指   ・   人差し指      ・   中指   ・   薬指   ・   小指
Q5.あなたは指輪をしている男性を見て彼女がいると推測したことはありますか?
       はい   ・   いいえ
       →「はい」と答えた方について。それは何指でしたか?(複数可)
       親指   ・   人差し指      ・   中指   ・   薬指   ・   小指
Q6.Q4か5で「はい」と答えた方について。その推測の正誤はどうでしたか?
       正しい方が多い        ・   半々   ・   間違いの方が多い          ・   全くもって不明
Q7.あなたは特定の交際相手がいないときに指輪をしたことがありますか?
       はい   ・   いいえ
       →「はい」と答えた方について。それは何指にしますか?(複数可)
       親指   ・   人差し指      ・   中指   ・   薬指   ・   小指
Q8.あなたは特定の交際相手がいるときにその事実と関係のある指輪をしたことがあります
       か?(交際相手にもらった、ペアで買った、など)
       はい   ・   いいえ
       →「はい」と答えた方について。それは何指にしますか?(複数可)
       親指   ・   人差し指      ・   中指   ・   薬指   ・   小指
Q9.仮に、あなたに特定の交際相手がいて、指輪をプレゼントするとします。何指のものを選
       びますか?
       親指・人差し指・中指・薬指・小指・状況による・指輪は絶対ない
Q10.あなたは交際している2人にとって指輪って何だと思いますか?(複数可)
       ただのプレゼント・特別なプレゼント・彼氏(彼女)の存在アピール・倦怠期のしるし・
       罪滅ぼし・全くもって不明・その他
                                                ご協力ありがとうございました。作成:ウエヤマ




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4 Results:
       Questionnaires were distributed to the students of Doshisha University,
chosen at random. Then, I got 21 answers, 12 males and 9 females.
Q1. 9 males and 7 females answered “Yes”, it was a total of 76% people.
Q2. 9 males and 8 females answered “Yes”, it was a total of 81% people.
Q3. Each 3 males and females answered “Correct cases are more”, 4 males and
3 females answered “Fifty-fifty”, only 1 female answered “Incorrect cases are
more”, and 2 males and 1 female answered “Unknown”. The total of the largest
answer, “Fifty-fifty” and the second largest answer, “Correct cases are more”
accounts 76%.
Q4. All 12 males and 9 females answered “Yes”, of course it was 100%. And 21
people, that is, all of them answered the finger was “Third finger”. It was also
100%. Only 1 female answered both “Third finger” and “Little finger”.
Q5. 11 males and all 9 females answered “Yes”, it was a total of 95%. 11 males
and 8 males answered the finger was “Third finger”, and it accounts 95%.
“Forefinger” and “Little finger” each got 1 female’s vote.
Q6. 7 males and 6 females answered “Correct cases are more”, 4 males and 2
females answered “Fifty-fifty”, only 1 female answered “Incorrect cases are
more”, and only 1 male answered “Unknown”. The total of the largest answer,
“Correct cases are more” and the second largest answer, “Fifty-fifty” accounts
90%.
Q7. 8 females answered “Yes”, and 5 “Forefinger”, 4 “Second finger”, 2 “Little
finger” and 1 “Third finger”. On the other hand, only 3 males answered “Yes”,
and 2 “Second finger” and each 1 “Forefinger” and “Little finger”.
Q8. 6 females answered “Yes”, and all of them answered the finger was “Third
finger”. In case of boys, 7 males answered “Yes”, and 5 “Third finger” and 2
“Forefinger”.
Q9. 8 males and 2 females answered “Third finger”, 4 males and 5 females
answered “Depend on the situation” and 2 females answered “Never choose a
ring for a present”.
Q10. The largest answer was “Special present” voted each 7 males and females.
The second largest answer was “Existence of a partner” voted each 3 males and
females. And, 1 male and female answered “Just present”, 1 male answered
“Atonement”, and 2 males answered “Unknown”.
5 Conclusions:
       The result was so meaningful and that data was enough to support my



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hypothesis. According to my research, the number of those who answered “Yes”
to Q1 and 2 was less than “Yes” to Q 4 and 5. It was surprising. That is, if
people see a ring on third finger, they guess the existence of a partner, but they
can’t decide clearly that the partner is a spouse. And the result of main
questions, Q4 and 5, was beyond my expectance. Almost every student has
done this kind of judgment, and 62% of them thought their judgments were
more correct. 90% of them thought at least “Fifty-fifty”. The most interesting
things were Q7 and 8. When females don’t have a boyfriend, though most of the
females have ever worn a ring, only 1 females chose “Third finger” to wear a
ring. But when they have a boyfriend, all of those who wear a ring relating to
their dealings chose “Third finger” to wear the ring. It can be said that females
may avoid third finger to wear a ring, not to cause misunderstanding about
their love life. Let’s see the male’s data. In case of male, when they have a
girlfriend, the number of those who wear a ring increases from 3 to 7. A man
who doesn’t wear a ring in generally might be demanded to wear a ring by his
girlfriend. In case of males who wear a ring generally, no one chose third finger.
But, when they have a girlfriend, 5 out of 7 chose third finger to wear the ring.
So, males wearing a ring on his third finger are more possible to have a partner
than such females. About Q9, most of them chose “Third finger” as my
expectation. Those who answered “Depend on the situation” may have
misgivings about a partner (especially males) who don’t like to wear any rings.
The last Q10 was also the same as my expectation. If I had more time, I wanted
to ask how special a ring is for couples. I’m sorry that 1 male answered that he
uses a ring as atonement.
     According to my research, “third finger” is still “ring finger”. Rings itself
has something special meaning for people because of ring’s long history; they
even choose the finger to wear the ring and add more secret meaning. The
secret of ring finger is so common that they don’t need to say in loud, “I have a
partner”. Though it’ll never be complete truth, if you want to get a new love,
you had better not wear a ring on your ring finger!
5 Reference List:
Kitao, S. Kathleen and Kenji. Nonverbal Communication. Ikubundo, Tokyo,
2002.
http://www.takara-kiho.co.jp (Jan. 16th. 2005)


No.14030981 Yumi Ueyama



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