In this note we prove some results which assert that under certain conditions the involution on a prime ring must satisfy a form of positive definiteness. As a consequence of the first of our theorems we obtain a fairly short and simple proof of a recent theorem of Lanski . In fact, in doing so we actually generalize his result in that we need not avoid the presence of 2-torsion. One can easily adapt Lanski's original proof, also, to cover the case in which 2-torsion is present. This result of Lanski has been greatly generalized in a joint work by Susan Montgomery and ourselves .