I am a skeptic. I just can’t bring myself to take giant leaps. That is why I felt a tad uncomfortable when new client, myDNA, invited me for a free dermatoglyphics (yes it’s a word) analysis. It all sounded a tad voodoo hoodoo to my scoffing mind.
As I arrived in a professional looking office at Arcade’s Star Avenue, with its floor-to-ceiling glass panes and shiny new furniture, I was surprised to see a few families with young children, some babies even, sitting in the waiting area.
Hmmm… curiouser and curiouser.
My fingerprints were scanned and I wandered off for a bowl of noodles before I returned to listen to myDNA’s specialist’s analysis of my character.
You see, dermatoglyphics (from ancient Greek’s derma meaning skin and glyph meaning carving) is the study of fingerprints. The premise is that derma ridges are linked to brain development at around 13-19 weeks. These prints are dictated by chromosome genes and they do not change for a lifetime. After many years of analysis and classification (MyDNA’s founders claim to have studied over 40 million fingerprints), many medical experts and scientists believe that “the amount of brain cells distributed in different parts of the brain helps us to understand the brain, the child’s multiple intelligences as well as latent potential and personality.” While of course nurture eventually shapes and distorts nature, the belief here is that there are predetermined traits which can be analysed through the study of fingerprints.
We sit down and I am presented with a very professionally bound and glossy report with scans of my ridges and grooves with attached circles and arrows and a paragraph by each one describing what it is.
The first thing I was told by the serious young man who was my analyst; “You are shy with strangers.”
Well, if you have met me you would be grinning by now. I am not known for being coy. But, knowing that we were only talking about DNA character traits, understanding that I was an only child so I HAD to put myself out there, I suspended my disbelief and continued to listen.
“You are very emotionally sensitive,” he continued. “You also easily succumb to peer pressure.” I sit up a bit. He goes on to tell me that I am a quick _ and at times sloppy _ problem solver, that I am impatient, that I like working on the social frontline, adore admiration (grumph, who doesn’t?), and “learn from optics.” Apparently that means that I understand and learn through seeing, not hearing or doing. Which is pretty true since I love fine arts and reading, while performance arts have always left me cold. I am good at summarising things, but only when reading or seeing, and I love colours and pretty things (huh, apparently not everyone does). My specialist went on to tell me that I was no good at visualising strategies, that I was uncoordinated (shouldn’t have wasted time on those piano lessons), and not very good at structural management . He told me a lot more. I have a whole booklet to show for it, but these were the salient points.
While this was all very interesting (and alarmingly accurate), I wondered, what is the point?
“Our clients are mainly either parents who bring their children or corporations looking to analyse their management staff,” said Wiphamat Rodcharoen, MyDNA Director, as I start thinking of Minority Report. “Parents come here to see what areas of their children’s characteristics they need to develop more than others and what areas to encourage. For instance, if, like you, a child has less inborn talent or inherent potential to strategise or visualise, we encourage the parents to get them to play chess, Lego or Play-doh.” (Daddy, you know now where we went wrong with all those nights of gin rummy). “This can really help strengthen these areas of the brain. And if they, again, like you, are good at visual summaries then perhaps they should be encouraged into a hobby, to collect and classify.” Aha!
“Many companies come to us and ask us to analyse their management’s potential so they can maximise them,” he continued. “So, again, if, like you, they are weak at visual strategy, we would tell the company that this person is not suitable to be in a job like a pilot, golfer or architect. But if they had traits showing strength in visual comprehension, then they might be a good pharmacist or editor.”
myDNA, recently opened in Chiang Mai, is a franchise of a very successful business based in Malaysia. Skeptic that I was, I was offered a tome of reading and research with reams of Xeroxed documents of patents, academic publications and research material.
The sign in front of the shop claims a 95 percent accuracy rate, and the Thai media has been wild-eyed with awe, printing gushing headlines such as, “Unbelievably Accurate!” and “Decode Thailand’s Millionaires with New Science!”
While these exclamations may be slightly over the top, more reputable publications around the world have acceded that there is something here. DNA is inherited and does determine character traits. If the claim is true that they can be analysed and used for improvement, then surely this knowledge is worth harnessing. Again, Minority Report flashes.
A natural born communicator would benefit from being encouraged to debate and to mediate, and eventually could prove to be an excellent psychologist or lawyer. A child with more coordination than I may want to take up ballet or jazz.
It is a world of possibilities.
I left myDNA’s offices feeling contemplative. I took my report home, read and reread it and found many salient truths and some dubious suppositions. But it was interesting nonetheless and I can see why parents would like for their children to get a leg up in life by working on their weaknesses or potentials as they see fit, and why someone about to put out big bucks for a top level manager would like to know if they have innate strategic or communications skills.
I am going to start practicing doing my buttons now, since that is supposed to help with my lack of coordination… or is it too late?
If you want to check out this unique service in Chiang Mai, give them a shout at myDNA, Star Avenue Lifestyle Mall (Arcade)
Open 9.30am – 6.30pm (Closed on Mondays)
Tel. 053 243 314, 094 604 6444