What is Graphology?
Handwriting analysis, or graphology, is a practice that has a widespread influence. This type of analysis is utilized by many people and in many different situations. While there are many critics that claim the practice is impractical, there are still many more who support the use of handwriting analysis based on the inference of character from a person's handwriting. However, the technique has a long way to mature before it is to considered valid.
Handwriting analysis is used in the courtroom as forensic evidence, in jury selection, and by human resources sections of companies when they are hiring new employees.
Graphology is used for:
- Forensic cases to link suspects to crimes
- Personality tests
- To look for and monitor neurological conditions
- By companies looking to find the best people
When is Handwriting Analysis Used?
Handwriting analysis is the “inference of character from a person's handwriting.” (graphology) Handwriting analysis is used in the courtroom as forensic evidence (Heinecke 38), in jury selection(Jaksic 2), and by human resources sections of companies when they are hiring new employees (JOBS). These sectors hire handwriting analysis consultants who judge the handwriting according to the pressure used when writing, the slope of the letters, the angles of the curves, space between words and the fluid or shakiness of the words (Heinecke 2). After carefully looking at these factors, a certified handwriting analyst can tell specific traits that the writer has.
FBI Handwriting Analysis from 1969
Is Hand Writing Analysis real?
Handwriting analysis has plenty of supporters who claim that the practice is valid. In fact, there are companies who let a computer program analyzes handwriting, and influence who they hire or what position they place a new employee (Heinecke 24). There are even supporters who go so far as to say that this “science” can make them an ”expert at understanding personalities” just by looking at a person's handwriting (This 1).
Of course, there are people with a less radical standpoint. One study has shown that though traditional handwriting analysis, or handwriting analysis that deals with personality traits, may not be completely consistent with its findings. However, this study shows that handwriting analysis can be used to identify neurological conditions (Persuad 11). The study goes on to list the many different conditions that can possibly be located early in life. They include: “multiple sclerosis, dementia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's chorea, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.” (13) It is important to remember that most critics attack traditional handwriting analysis, and medical handwriting analysis is an exciting new breakthrough that is usually spoken of separately.
Critique of Handwriting Analysis
Handwriting analysis also has many critics. In an article by New Scientist reporter, Raj Persaud, he claims that there have been “to date more than 200 objective scientific studies have concluded the technique [of handwriting analysis] is of no practical value.” (2) Mr. Persaud is not the only reporter sharing the feeling that handwriting analysis has not been consistently proven as being the most valid form of evidence for a person's character. The fight for this information to be recognized seems to occur most frequently and strongly in the court system. Sylvia Hsieh quotes a 2009 report from the National Academy of sciences when she explains that, “the report said that aside from DNA analysis, no forensic method has been rigorously shown to consistently and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source.” Yet even with reports such as these, handwriting analysis is still being used in the court system. It is being used not only for trials but also in choosing peers for the jury (Jaksic).
Great Leader Share Qualities in their Writing Styles
Conclusion on Handwriting
Handwriting analysis has both its believers and skeptics. It can give hints or clues to parts of a person, but it has not proven that it can accurately give in-depth pictures of a person's abilities or personality. More conclusive research needs to prove the validity of this practice before it continues to be used with such blind faith. If experts insist on using traditional handwriting analysis it is imperative to use it with other things, and not let a decision reside solely on how hard a person presses down on paper with their pen.
What do you think about handwriting analysis? Let me know in the comments.
"graphology." © Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.. 30 Jun. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/graphology>.
Heinecke, Jeannine. "Characters reveal character." Law Enforcement Technology 34.10 (2007): 174+. General OneFile. Web. 28 June 2010.
Hsieh, Sylvia. "Report gives lawyers new argument to keep out forensic evidence." Minnesota Lawyer (2009). General OneFile. Web. 28 June 2010.
Jaksic, Vesna. "Jury selection tool." Miami Daily Business Review (2007). General OneFile. Web. 28 June 2010.
"JOBS: A test of strengths." Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland (2009): 67. General OneFile. Web. 28 June 2010.
Persaud, Raj. "You are what you write: Study after study has shown that graphology is bunk. But it could still reveal more about you than you think." New Scientist 173.2333 (2002): 40+. Student Resource Center - Gold. Web. 28 June 2010.
"This woman has made all the 'write' moves; Mythili Iyer offers consultancy on graphology and operates her own consultancy firm." DNA [Daily News & Analysis] 25 Dec. 2009. General OneFile. Web. 28 June 2010.
JC Scull from Gainesville, Florida on September 19, 2019:
Very good article.
flesterek on August 09, 2015:
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Haley (author) from Baltimore, MD on March 02, 2013:
I think your friends adherence to the rules after all these years says a lot about her. I don't know exactly how much weight is given to the persons education. I think the general thought is that after years of no writing practice charts, that people's natural handwriting comes out, much like a artist's preferred style to paint.
LongTimeMother from Australia on March 02, 2013:
Interesting hub. I wonder how much consideration is given by handwriting analysts to where a person went to school, and how they were 'taught' to write.
For instance, when I went to school we were forced to follow 'slope cards' inserted beneath each page. Every child in the State wrote with sloping handwriting. I don't know how many of them still do. I don't, but I have a friend after all those years who still follows the rules we were taught.
I wonder, does the slope or lack of it, say more about me, or her? Hmmm. :) Voted up.
Samuel Harris on October 24, 2011:
Hey nice post. Thanks for sharing. I do believe in handwriting analysis. I even had my own handwriting analyzed by experts and by graphotherapy, I have great change in my personality. It is actually true and worthy.
Personality development on February 23, 2011:
This Handwriting academy in Bangalore, offers training and services in Grapho Psychology or Graphology handwriting analysis - Handwriting Analysis, Self Improvement, Handwriting Analysis Personality, Graphology Handwriting Analysis, Personality Development.
glassvisage from Northern California on January 23, 2011:
Wow, handwriting analysis as a thesis... This would be quite an interesting topic to take on and research. Good breakdown.