Graphology


Graphology

Graphology is the study and analysis of handwriting especially in relation to human psychology. In the medical field, it can be used to refer to the study of handwriting as an aid in diagnosis and tracking of diseases of the brain and nervous system. The term is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to forensic document examination.

Graphology has been a controversial field for more than a century. Although supporters point to the anecdotal evidence of thousands of positive testimonials as a reason to use it for personality evaluation, most empirical studies fail to show the validity claimed by its supporters. [cite journal
last = Driver
first = Russel H.
authorlink =
coauthors = M. Ronald Buckley and Dwight D. Frink
title = Should We Write Off Graphology?
journal = International Journal of Selection and Assessment
volume = 4
issue = 2
pages = 78–86
date = April 1996
doi = 10.1111/j.1468-2389.1996.tb00062.x
accessdate = 2007-08-28
] cite journal
last =Furnham
first = Adrian
authorlink =
coauthors = Barrie Gunter
title = Graphology and Personality: Another Failure to Validate Graphological Analysis.
journal = Personality And Individual Differences
volume = 8
issue =
pages = 433–435
date = 1987
url =
accessdate =
doi = 10.1016/0191-8869(87)90045-6
]

Etymology

Graphology: graphos (from the Greek γράφειν): writing / logos (from the Greek λόγος: science). It is a generic, as for instance: Anthropology, Psychology, Biology, Geology.With the lexeme Grapho (from the Greek: γράφειν ) there are many words generic: Graphopatology, Graphomaniac, Graphistic, Graphopsychology, psychoGraphology, Graphometric, Graphometry, Graphoanalysis, Graphotechnology.

Basic tenets

Graphology is based upon the following basic assertions:

* When we write, the ego is active but it is not always active to the same degree. Its activity waxes and wanes; being at its highest level when an effort has to be made by the writer and at its lowest level when the motion of the writing organ has gained momentum and is driven by it.

* When the action of writing is comparatively difficult, the writer uses those forms of letters which are simpler or more familiar.

* The muscular movements involved in writing are controlled by the central nervous system. The form of the resultant writing movement is modified further by the flexibly assembled coordinative structures in the hand, arm, and shoulder; which follow the principles of dynamical systems. The specific writing organ (mouth, foot, hand, crook of elbow) is irrelevant if it functions normally and is sufficiently adapted to its function.

* The neurophysiological mechanisms which contribute to the written movement are related to conditions within the central nervous system and vary in accordance with them. The written strokes, therefore, reflect both transitory and long term changes in the central nervous system such as Parkinson's disease, or alcohol usage.

* The movements and corresponding levels of muscular tension in writing are mostly outside of conscious control and subject to the ideomotor effect. Emotion, mental state, and biomechanical factors such as muscle stiffness and elasticity are reflected in a person's handwriting.

* One must examine the handwriting or drawing movements by considering them as movements organized by the central nervous system and produced under biomechanical and dynamical constraints. Given these considerations, graphologists proceed to evaluate the pattern, form, movement, rhythm, quality, and consistency of the graphic stroke in terms of psychological interpretations. Such interpretations vary according to the graphological theory applied by the analyst.

* Most schools of thought in graphology concur that a single graphological element can be a component of many different clusters, with each cluster having a different psychological interpretation. The significance of the cluster can be assessed accurately by tracing each component of the cluster back to their origins and adapting the meaning of the latter to the conditions of the milieu in which the form appears.

Some basic examples

A sampling from various popular Graphology books [Citation
last = Gardner
first = Ruth
authorlink =
title = Instant Handwriting Analysis: A Key to Personal Success
place=
publisher = Llewellyn Publications
year = 2002
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
isbn = 0875422519
] [Citation
last = Amend
first = Karen
authorlink =
coauthors = Mary S. Ruiz
title = Handwriting Analysis
place=
publisher = Newcastle Publishing Company
year = 1980
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
isbn = 087877050X
] provide these interpretations:

Approaches to graphology

There are three approaches to graphology: the integrative approach, the holistic approach, and the symbolic analysis.

; Integrative graphology : This approach holds that specific stroke structures relate to traits. Most systems within this approach use a cluster of stroke formations, to score a specific personality trait. Systems that fall under this umbrella are: "fixed signs", "trait stroke", "French System" and Graphoanalysis. It has been described as starting from the inside, and working to the outside.; Holistic graphology : This is commonly, but incorrectly referred to as "Gestalt Graphology". Gestalt graphology was a system of handwriting analysis developed circa 1915 in Germany and was related theoretically to Gestalt psychology. In this approach (Holistic Graphology) a profile is constructed on the basis of form, movement and space. It has been described as starting from the outside, and working to the inside. In this approach, individual traits, such as legibility, are not assigned specific meanings, but can take on different meanings depending on the overall context.; Symbolic analysis :In this approach, one looks for symbols seen in the handwriting. This can be either Major symbolism, or Minor Symbolism. ;* Major symbolism is the meaning ascribed to the stroke, as it related to the page. ;*Minor symbolism ascribes a meaning to the stroke, depending upon the picture that the stroke draws. For example, John Wayne's signature shows a blackened out portion, that represents his lung cancer.:This approach provides the theory that underlies both Holistic Graphology, and Integrative Graphology. Max Pulver [Citation
last = Pulver
first = Max Albert Eugen
author-link = Max Pulver
title = Symbolik der Handschrift
place = Zurich & Leipzig
publisher = Orell Füssli
year = 1931
location =
volume =
edition = 1st Edition
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Pulver
first = Max Albert Eugen
author-link = Max Pulver
title = Symbolik der Handschrift.
place= Munich
publisher = Kindler
year = 1972
location =
volume =
edition = New
url =
doi =
isbn = 3463180871
] Citation
last = Pulver
first = Max Albert Eugen
author-link = Max Pulver
title = Person, Charakter, Schicksal
place=Zurich
publisher = Orell Füssli
year = 1944
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Pulver
first = Max Albert Eugen
author-link = Max Pulver
title = Der Intelligenzausdruck in der Handschrift
place= Zurich
publisher = Orell Füssli
year = 1949
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
id =
] is the best known exponent of this system.

Systems of handwriting analysis

Each approach to handwriting analysis has spawned several different systems.

*Integrative Graphology
**Graphoanalysis was the most influential system in the United States, between 1929 and 2000.
** Sistema de Xandró. [Citation
last = Xandró
first = Mauricio
author-link =
title = Psicologia y Grafologia
place = Havana
publisher = Ed de Conf y Ensayos
year = 1949
location =
volume =
edition =
url =
doi =
] [Citation
last = Xandró
first = Mauricio
author-link =
title = Abecedario Grafológico
place = Onate
publisher = Aránzazu
year = 1954
location =
volume =
edition =
url =
doi =
] [Citation
last = Xandró
first = Mauricio
author-link =
title = Grafología Tratado de Iniciación
place = Barcelona
publisher =Stadium
year = 1955
location =
volume =
edition =
url =
doi =
]

* Holistic Graphology
**The psychogram [Citation
last = Roman
first = Klara G.
author-link =
title = Handwriting: A Key to Personality
place= New York
publisher = Pantheon Books
year = 1952
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Cole
first = Charlie
author-link =
coauthor = Jean Hartman, Karey Starmer
title = Handwriting Analysis Workshop Unlimited: Professional Graphology Course
place=
publisher = E C F Cole / HAWU
year = 1961 - 1968
location = Campbell, CA
volume =
edition =
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Anthony
first = Daniel S.
author-link =
title = The Graphological Psychogram: Psychological meanings of its Sectors; Symbolic Interpretation of its Graphic Indicators
place= Fort Lauderdale, FL; New York NY
publisher =
year = 1964, 1983
location =
volume =
edition = Revised
url =
doi =
id =
] is the only system to have been taught as part of an academic degree, at an accredited institution in the United States .
** The Personal Worth Chart was developed by Handwriting Consultants of San Diego [Citation
last = Sassi
first = Paula
last2 = Whiting
first2 = Eldene
author2-link =
author-link =
title = Personal Worth Intermediate Course in Handwriting Analysis
place= San Diego, CA
publisher = Handwriting Consultants of San Diego
year = 1983
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
id =
] during the early eighties.
** The psychograph [Citation
last = King
first = Leslie W.
author-link =
title = Graphology Handbook for Tyros or Pros .. ..
place= Bountiful, UT
publisher = Handwriting Consultants of Utah
year = 1978
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
id =
] was developed by Leslie King during the seventies.
** Wittlich Character Diagram. [Citation
last = Wittlich
first = Bernhard
author-link =
title = Graphologische Charakterdiagramme
place= Munich
publisher = Johann Ambrosius Barth
year = 1956
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Wittlich
first = Bernhard
author-link =
title = Angewandte Graphologi
place= Berlin
publisher = Walter de Griyter & Co
year = 1951
location =
volume =
edition = 2nd
url =
doi =
id =
]
** Muller - Enskat Protokol [Citation
last = Müller
first = Wilhelm H.
last2 = Enskat
first2 = Alice
author-link =
author2-link =
title = Graphologische Diagnostik
place= Bern, Stuttgart, Wien
publisher = Verlag Hans Huber
year = 1973
location =
volume =
edition = 20th
url =
doi =
isbn = 3-456-30514-1
] [Citation
last = Müller
first = Wilhelm H.
author-link =
title = Mensch und Handschrift. Lehrbuch der Graphologischen Deutungstechnik zum Selbstunterricht
place= Bern
publisher = Munz
year = 1943
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
]
** Szondi
** Girolamo Moretti [Citation
last = Moretti
first = Girolamo Maria
author-link =
title = Trattato Scientifico di Perizie Grafiche su base Grafologica
place= Verona
publisher = L'Alberto
year = 1942
location =
volume =
edition =
url =
doi =
] [Citation
last = Moretti
first = Girolamo Maria
author-link =
title = ISanti dalla scrittura: esami grafologici.
place= Padova
publisher = Messaggero di S Antonio
year = 1963
location =
volume =
edition =
url =
doi =
] [:Moretti, Girolamo (1980) : "Trattato di Grafologia. Intelligenza – Sentimento," Padova, Ed. Messagero di S. Antonio, 12ª Ed.]
** Augusto Vels [: Vels, Augusto: "Tratado de Grafología", Barcelona, Editorial Vives, 1945] [:Vels, Augusto: "El lenguaje de la Escritura", Barcelona, Editorial Miracle, 1949.] [:Vels, Augusto:"Cómo ser importante", Barcelona, P.E.A.P., 1957.] [: Vels, Augusto:"Escritura y Personalidad", Barcelona, Editorial Herder, 468 pág. - 8ª ed.] [:Vels, Augusto:"La Selección de Personal y el problema humano en las empresas", Barcelona, Ed. Herder, 640 pág. -5ª ed.] [:Vels, Augusto: Diccionario de Grafología y términos psicológicos afines, Barcelona, Ed. Herder,1998, 532 pág., 5ª ed.] [:Vels, Augusto:"Manual de Grafoanálisis", Barcelona, Ed. Herder, 264 pág., 2ª ed. revisada.] [:Vels, Augusto:"Grafología Estructural y Dinámica", Barcelona, Ed. Herder, 404 pág.1997] [:Vels, Augusto:"Grafología de la A a la Z", Barcelona, Ed. Herder, 2000,432 pág.]

Training

The only academic institutions in the world that currently offer an accredited degree in handwriting analysis are:
* The University of Urbino, Italy: MA (Graphology)
* The LUMSA University in Rome, Italy: BA (Graphology)
* Emerson University College, Buenos Aires, Argentina: BA (Graphology)
* Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona: Spain: MA (Graphology)

Training in the United States

Between 1940 and 1995, New School for Social Research, in New York City, offered a diploma in Graphology. At its peak, the diploma course took 8 semesters, and also included Forensic Document Analysis. This diploma did not have academic accreditation.

From 1970 to 2000, one could obtain a Graphology track Associate Arts Degree from Felician College, in Lodi, NJ. This was the only academic institution in the United States to have offered graphology for an accredited academic degree.

Training in the United States is currently available through correspondence courses. The quality of instructions varies considerably. Look for instructors that have a successful track record in teaching handwriting analysis.

Writing systems

The majority of material in the field is oriented towards the Latin Writing system. Courses offered in the subject reflect that bias.

Before taking any course, or certification, ensure that it is usable for the local writing system.

Certification

There is no certification that is generally recognized, either within or without the field. Certifications are invariably linked to the organization one belongs to, and are no longer recognized when one resigns from the organization.

Vocabulary

Every system of handwriting analysis has its own vocabulary. Even though two or more systems may share the same words, the meanings of those words may be different. The technical meaning of a word used by a handwriting analyst, and the common meaning is not congruent. Resentment, for example, in common usage, means to feel or exhibit annoyance. In Graphoanalysis, the term indicates a fear of imposition. [Citation
last = IGAS Department of Instruction
first =
authorlink = International Graphoanalysis Society
title = The Encyclopedic Dictionary for Graphoanalysts
place = Chicago, IL
publisher = International Graphoanalysis Society
year = 1964
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = IGAS Department of Instruction
first =
authorlink = International Graphoanalysis Society
title = The Encyclopedic Dictionary for Graphoanalysts
place = Chicago, IL
publisher = International Graphoanalysis Society
year = 1984
location =
volume =
edition = 3rd
url =
doi =
id =
]

History

In the West, the book: [http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/servlet/SirveObras/01371741544583735212257/index.htm "Examen de ingenios para las ciencias"] 1575, written by Juan Huarte de San Juan (medical Spanish) according to the research of Jean Charles Gille-Maisani. [Gille-Maisani, Jean Charles(1991): "Psicología de la Escritura" (Psychology of the Handwriting), Barcelona, Herder. Prefaced by Augusto Vels]

Prospero Aldorisio's [Citation
last = Aldorisio
first = Prospero
authorlink =
title = Idengraphicus nuncius
place =
publisher =
year = 1611
edition =
url =
pages =
isbn =
] 1611 manuscript is probably the first book to describe how to analyze handwriting. The major contender is Camilo Baldi's manuscript [Citation
last = Baldi
first = Camilo
authorlink = Camillo Baldi
title = Trattado come de una lettera Missiva si conoscano la nature e qualita dello scriviente
place = Bologna
publisher =
year = 1622
edition =
url =
pages =
isbn =
] which was unofficially published in 1622. The 1625 edition was probably the first authorized edition of Baldi's book.

Around 1830 Abbé Michon became interested in handwriting analysis. He published his findings [Citation
last = Michon
first = Jean-Hippolyte
authorlink =
title = Le mystéres de l'écriture
place = Paris
publisher =
year = 1872
edition =
url =
pages =
isbn =
] [Citation
last = Michon
first = Jean-Hippolyte
authorlink =
title = Systéme de graphologie
place = Paris
publisher =
year = 1875
edition =
url =
pages =
isbn =
] shortly after founding "Société Graphologique" in 1871. The most prominent of his disciples was J. Crépieux-Jamin who rapidly published a series of books [Citation
last = Crépieux-Jamin
first = J
authorlink =
title = Traité pratique de graphologie, étude du caractère de l'homme d'après son écriture.
place = Paris
publisher =
year =
edition =
url =
pages =
isbn =
] [Citation
last = Crépieux-Jamin
first = J
authorlink =
title = L'écriture et le caractère
place = Paris
publisher = 1888
year =
edition =
url =
pages =
isbn =
] that were soon published in other languages [Citation
last = Crépieux-Jamin
first = J
authorlink =
title = Handwriting and Expression
place = London
publisher = 1892
year =
edition = First English Translation
url =
pages =
isbn =
] [Citation
last = Crépieux-Jamin
first = J
authorlink =
title = Praktisches Lehrbuch der Graphologie
place = Leipzig
publisher = List
year = 1906
edition = Fifth German Edition
url =
pages =
isbn =
] . Starting from Michon's integrative approach, Crépieux-Jamin ended up with a holistic approach to graphology.

Alfred Binet was convinced to do research into graphology from 1893 to 1907. He ended up calling it "The science of the future", despite graphologists' rejecting the results of his research.

After World War I, interest in graphology continued to spread in Europe as well as the United States. In Germany during the 1920s, Ludwig Klages founded and published his finding in "Zeitschrift für Menschenkunde" ("Journal for the Study of Mankind"). His major contribution to the field can be found in "Handschrift und Charakter" [Citation
last = Klages
first = Ludwig
authorlink = Ludwig Klages
title = Handschrift und Charakter
place =
publisher = 1916
year =
edition =
url =
pages =
isbn =
] [Citation
last = Klages
first = Ludwig
authorlink = Ludwig Klages
title = Handschrift und Charakter: gemeinverständlicher Abriss der graphologischen Technik
place = Barth
publisher =
year = 1940
edition = 17th
url =
pages = 256
isbn =
] .

Thea Stein Lewinson and J. Zubin modified Klage's ideas, based upon their experience working for the U.S. Government, publishing their method in 1942 [Citation
last = Lewinson
first = Thea Stein
authorlink =
last2 = Zubin
first2 = J
author2-link =
title = Handwriting analysis; a series of scales for evaluating the dynamic aspects of handwriting.
place = New York
publisher = King's Crown Press
year = 1942
edition = 1st
url =
pages = 147 + xiii
isbn =
] .

In 1929 Milton Bunker founded "The American Grapho Analysis Society" teaching Graphoanalysis. This organization and its system split the American graphology world in two. Students had to choose between Graphoanalysis or Holistic Graphology. Whilst hard data is lacking, anecdotal evidence indicates that 10% of the members of "International Graphoanalysis Society"(IGAS) were expelled between 1970 and 1980 [Cite Journal
last = Chimera
first = Mary Ann
author-link =
title =
journal = Impact Magazine
volume =
issue = 5
pages =
year =
url =
doi =
id =
] . By the time Peter Ferrera died in 1991, the decimation of IGAS members had resulted in a decline of the influence of Graphoanalysis, and IGAS on American graphology.

Klara G. Roman was the most prominent of the German refugee scholars. Her books are still considered to be foundations for contemporary American Holistic graphology. She taught at the New School for Social Research in New York, and was succeeded there by Daniel S. Anthony and Florence Anthony.

"Handwriting Workshops Unlimited" was organized by Charlie Cole as a series of lectures for advanced students of Graphoanalysis. These lectures featured holistic graphologists such as Thea Lewinson and Klara Roman. By 1960 all of the participants had been expelled by IGAS. These individuals went on to form the "American Handwriting Analysis Foundation". Later mass expulsions of IGAS members led to the formation of other societies, such as the "American Association of Handwriting Analysts" that were orientated towards Holistic graphology.

In 1972 talks between the "American Handwriting Analysis Foundation" and the "American Association of Handwriting Analysis" started, with the aim to form a single organization. Those talks resulted in the creation of the "Council of Graphological Societies" in 1976.

Since the rise of the Internet in the early 1990s, the graphology organizations have suffered major declines in membership. However, due to email lists, communication between graphologists representing different approaches has increased.

Validity

Although graphology had some early support in the scientific community such as Fluckinger, Tripp & Weinberg(1961) [cite journal
title=A Review of Experimental Research in Graphology: 1933 - 1960
journal=Perceptual And Motor Skills
date=1961
volume=
issue=12
pages=67–90
author=Fluckwinger A, Tripp, Clarence A & Weinberg, George H
] , Lockowandte (1976) [cite journal
title=Lockowandte, Oskar Present status of the investigation of handwriting psychology as a diagnostic method
journal=Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology
date=1976
volume=
issue=6
pages=4–5
author=Lockowandte, Oskar
] and Nevo(1986) Nevo, B "Scientific Aspects Of Graphology: A Handbook" Springfield, IL: Thomas: 1986] , the results of most of the recent surveys on the ability for graphology to access personality and job performance have been negativecite journal
title=Illusory Correlations in Graphological Inference
journal=Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
date=2000
volume=6
issue=4
pages=336–348
author=Roy N. King and Derek J. Koehler
doi=10.1037/1076-898X.6.4.336
] .Graphology is primarily used as a recruiting tool to screen candidates during the evaluation process. Many studies have been conducted to assess its effectiveness to predict personality and job performance. Recent studies testing the validity of using handwriting for predicting personality traits have been consistently negative , the results of most of the recent surveys on the ability for graphology to access personality and job performance have been negative as well. Here are some of the specific results for the personality tests:

* Graphologists were unable to predict scores on the Eysenck personality questionnaire using writing samples from the same people
* Graphologists were unable to predict scores on the Myers-Briggs test using writing samples from the same people [cite journal
title=Handwriting and personality: A test of some expert graphologists' judgments
journal=Guidance and Assessment Review
date=1988
volume=
issue=4
pages=1–3
author=Bayne, R., & O'Neill, F.
]
* Using meta-analysis drawn from over 200 studies, graphologists were generally unable to predict any kind of personality trait on any personality test [cite book
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors = Jennings, D. L., Amabile, T. M., & Ross, L.
title = Informal covariation assessment: Data-based versus theory-based judgments. In D. Kahneman, P. Slovic, & A. Tversky (Eds.), Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases
publisher = Cambridge University Press
date = 1982
location = Cambridge, England
pages = 211-238
url =
doi =
id =
isbn =
]

Graphologists didn't do better to assess job performance:

* Professional graphologists using handwriting analysis were just as ineffective as lay people at predicting performance [cite journal
title=The predictive validity of graphological influences: A meta-analytic approach
journal= Personality and Individual Differences
date=1989
volume=
issue=10
pages=737–745
author=Neter, E., & Ben-Shakhar, G.
]
* A broad literature screen done by King and Koehler confirmed dozens of studies showing the mechanical aspects of graphology (slant, slope, etc.) are essentially worthless predictors of job performance.

The best way to summarize the appeal that graphology has despite the complete lack of empirical evidence has been put up by Dr Rowan Bayne, a British psychologist who wrote several studies on graphology: "It's very seductive because at a very crude level someone who is neat and well behaved tends to have neat handwriting" and then added that the practice was "useless... absolutely hopeless".cite web
last = Duffy
first = Jonathan
authorlink =
coauthors = Giles Wilson
title = Writing wrongs
work =
publisher = BBC News Magazine
date =
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4223445.stm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-06-24
] . It is also worth noting that the British Psychological Society for example ranks graphology alongside astrology - giving them both "zero validity".

Overall, despite a few studies that support handwriting analysis, such as Crumbaugh & Stockholm [cite journal
title=Validation of Graphoanalysis by "Global" or "Holistic" Method
journal=Perceptual And Motor Skills
date=April 1977
volume=44
issue=2
pages=403–410
author=Crumbaugh, James C & Stockholm, Emilie
] , the large majority of studies such as Ben-Shakar, Bar-Hillel, Blum, Ben-Abba, & Flug [cite journal
author=Ben-Shakar, G., Bar-Hillel, M., Blum, Y., Ben-Abba, E., & Flug, A.
journal=Journal of Applied Psychology
date=1986
volume=71
pages=645–653
title=missingtitle
] and many others indicate overwhelming evidence against its predictive validity.

Additional specific objections

* The Barnum effect and the Dr Fox effect [Citation
last = Ware
first = J E
author-link =
last2 = Williams
first2 = R G
author2-link =
title = The Dr. Fox effect: a study of lecturer effectiveness and ratings of instruction.
journal = Journal Medical Education
volume = 50
issue = 2
pages = 149–156
date = Feb
year = 1975
url =http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=1120118&dopt=Abstract
accessdate = 2007-05-24
id =
] . These phenomena make it difficult to validate methods of personality testing. These describe the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. See, for example, Tallent(1958) [cite journal|author=Tallent, N|journal=Journal of Clinical Psychology|date=1958|volume=14|pages=243&ndash;244|title=On Individualizing the Psychologists's Clinical Evaluation | doi = 10.1002/1097-4679(195807)14:3<243::AID-JCLP2270140307>3.0.CO;2-A] . Non-individualized graphological reports give credence to this criticism.

* Effect Size: Dean's(1992) Citation
last = Dean
first = Geoffrey A
authorlink =
title = The Bottom Line: Effect Size
journal = in Beyerstein & Beyerstein (1992)
pages = 269–341
id =
] Citation
last = Beyerstein
first = Barry L
authorlink = Barry Beyerstein
last2 = Beyerstein
first2 = Dale F
author2-link =
title = The Write Stuff: Evaluation of Graphology - The Study of handwriting Analysis
place = Buffalo, NY
publisher = Prometheus Books
year = 1992
edition = 1st
url =
pages =
isbn = 0-87975-612-8
] primary argument against the use of graphology is that the effect size is too small. Regardless of the validity of handwriting analysis, the research results imply that it is not applicable for any specific individual, but may be applicable to a group.
* Vagueness: One of the key points of attack for critics is the ease with which a graphologist can alter the "rules." Formniveau, for example, interprets a sign positively if the individual is high status, and negatively if the individual has low status Fact|date=December 2007.

Legal considerations

Privacy

Graphologists often claim that handwriting analysis in the workplace is legalCitation
last = Meister
first = Bob
author-link =
last2 = Meister
first2 = Angela
author2-link =
last3 = Meister
first3 = Scott
title = Handwriting Answers
date =
year =
url = http://www.handwritinganswers.com
accessdate = 2008-06-21
] , citing one or more of the following cases:

* Gilbert v California :388 US 263-267 (1967)
* US v Dionisio :410 US 1 (1973) 1973, Lawyers Edition, Second Series 35, 67; 93 SC 774
* US v Mara aka Marasovich :410 US 19 (1973)
* US v Rosinsky :547 F 2nd 249 ( CA 4th 1977 )
* United States v Wade :388 US 218, 221-223 (1967)

All of these cases are about Fifth Amendment rights in a criminal investigation. These cases do not address issues relating to psychological analysis of an individual. Neither do they address third party issues.

A "Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information" report cite paper
first = Attila
last = Péterfalvi
author =
authorlink = Dr. Attila Péterfalvi
coauthors =
title = OVERVIEW of the Data Protection Commissioner’s investigation into the tender for the notary position of the cityof Nagymaros
version =
publisher = Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information
date = 2004-03-16
url = http://abiweb.obh.hu/dpc/index.php?menu=reports/2004/III/4&dok=reports/2004/222&nyomtat=1
format =
accessdate = 2008-06-21
] states that handwriting analysis without informed consent is a privacy violation.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Many graphologists claim that handwriting analysis is non-discriminatory, since it cannot determine Gender, Age, Ethnicity, or other EEOC Protected Classes. [Cite Journal
last = Barrow
first = N K
author-link =
last2 = Scott
first2 = R H
author2-link =
title = Validation of a Personnel Selection System to meet EEOC Guidelines
journal = Journal Of Handwriting Psychology
volume = 1
issue = 1
pages = 15–17
year = 1984
url =
doi =
id =
] However, thus far, there have been no studies demonstrating that the use of handwriting analysis in employment does not have a disparate impact upon EEOC protected classes.

There have been a number of studies on gender [Citation
last = Binet
first = Alfred L
author-link = Alfred Binet
title = La graphologie et ses révélations sure le sexe, l'âge et l'intelligence
journal = L'Année Psychologique
volume = 10
issue =
pages = 179–210
year = 1904
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Binet
first = Alfred L
author-link = Alfred Binet
title = Le sexe de l'écriture
journal = Année Psychologique
volume = 9
issue =
pages = 17–34
year = 1902/1903
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Young
first = P T
author-link =
title = Sex differences in Handwriting
journal = Journal of Applied Psychology
volume = 15
issue =
pages = 486–498
year = 1931
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Wittlich
first = Bernhard
author-link =
title = Ein Betrag zur Grage der Geschlechtsbestimmung nach der Handschrift
journal = Zeitschrift fűr Menschenkenntnis
volume = 3
issue =
pages = 42–45
year = 1927
url =
doi =
id =
] and handwriting. Uniformly the research indicates that gender can be determined at a significant level. The published studies on ethnicity [Citation
last = Geyer
first = L
author-link =
title = Beitäge zur Graphologischen Technik. Derinnere Widerstreit der Bewusstseinsformen(Rassen), Kraftschwerpunkte (Naturelle) sowie Volksschichten als Urasache jeder unrhythmischen schwankungsbreite sämtl. Scrhiftelemente: Eine Lösung.
publisher = Selbstverlag
place = Heidelberg
year = 1929
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Krieger
first = P L
author-link =
title = Artmerkmale an ausländischen Handschriftenproben unter rassenseelenkundlichen Gesichtspunkt.
journal = Zentralblatt für Graphology
volume = 6
issue =
pages = 95–105
year = 1935
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Krieger
first = P L
author-link =
title = Rhythmus and Schreibinnervation bei Jugendlichen und Erwachsenen.
journal =Zeitschrift für pädaagogische Psychologie und Jugendkunde
volume = 38
issue =
pages = 15–31
year =1937
url =
doi =
id =
] , race [Citation
last = Garth
first = T R
author-link =
title = The Handwriting of Indians
journal = Journal of Educational Psychology
volume = 22
issue =
pages = 705–719
year = 1931
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Garth,
first = T R
author-link =
last2 = Mitchell
first2 =J J
author2-link =
last3 = Anthony
first3 = C N
author3-link =
title = The Handwriting of Negroes
journal = Journal of Educational Psychology
volume = 30
issue =
pages = 69–73
year = 1939
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Weisser
first = E A
author-link =
title = A Diagnostic Study of Indian handwriting.
journal = Journal of Educational Psychology
volume = 23
issue =
pages = 703–707
year = 1932
url =
doi =
id =
] , age [Citation
last = Kollarits
first = J
author-link =
title = Űber Sprach- und Schreibströrungen in allgermeinen und als "kleine Zeichen der Geistesschwächung" bei Tuberkulose und im Alter. Das Verhaltnin zwischen innerer Sprache und Schreibfehler.
journal = Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten
volume = 99
issue =2
pages =
year = 1935
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Binet
first = Alfred L
author-link = Alfred Binet
title = L'âge et l'écriture
journal =La Revue des Revues
volume =484
issue = 4
pages = 182–195;326–341
year =
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last = Binet
first = Alfred L
author-link = Alfred Binet
title = La Graphologie et Ses Révélations sur le sexe, l'âge et l'intelligence.
journal = L'Année Psychologique
volume =10
issue =
pages = 179–210
year =1904
url =
doi =
id =
] , nationality [Citation
last = Blumenthal
first = E
author-link =
title = Schulschriften der Verschiedenen Länder. Beihefte zur
journal = Schweizerischen Zeitschrift für Psychologie undihre Anwendungen
volume = 31
issue =
pages = 3–116
year =1959
url =
doi =
id =
] , gender orientation, weight, and their relationship to handwriting have had mixed results, with a tendency to indicate that they can be determined from handwriting.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

One of the rules of thumb in human resources is that if an individual who has an ADA-defined disability cannot take a test, then nobody can. As a result, tests that cannot be adapted for use by those individuals will not be used by a company.

Handwriting clearly falls into the group of tests that cannot be adapted to be administered to individuals who fall within one or more ADA-defined disabilities. Blind people, for example, do not develop the required fluency in handwriting, for the writing to be correctly analyzed.

Questions that Handwriting Analysts ask before doing an analysis can be illegal under this act. [citation
last = Johnston
first = Dianna B
authorlink =
title = TITLE VII: Disparate Impact, Handwriting Analysis
publisher = The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
date = 28 February 2001
url = http://www.eeoc.gov/foia/letters/2001/titlevii_disparate_handwriting.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-24
]

Graphology in court testimony

"Cameron v Knapp", 137 Misc. 2d 373, 520 N.Y.S.2d 917 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 1987) (handwriting expert may testify as to the authenticity of a writing but not as to an individual's physical or mental condition based on a handwriting sample) stands as current U.S. case law for the rejection of graphology as psychological testimony.

"Carroll v State" [276 Ark 160; 634 SW 2d 99, 101-102 (1982)] will be remembered for its implications on the propriety of allowing graphologists to testify. The opposing Handwriting Analysts displayed a distinct lack of professional courtesy to each other. In doing so, they undermined the scientific validity of both Integrative Graphology and Holistic Graphology.

Daubert

Daubert defined several criteria that admissible expert testimony has to meet.
* Be falsifiable, refutable, and testable;
* Be valid and reliable;
* Subject to published peer review;
* Held to standards within the field;
* Be generally accepted in the Scientific Community;

Depending upon the specific system of handwriting analysis that is used, it fails between two and five criteria.

Applications of graphology

Employment profiling

A company takes a writing sample provided by an applicant, and proceeds to do a personality profile, matching the congruency of the applicant with the ideal psychological profile of employees in the position. [Citation
last = BPI Labs
first =
author-link =
title = Evaluated Characteristics
date =
year =
url =http://www.bpilab.com/Characteristics%20Evaluated.htm
accessdate = 2007-06-05
]

A graphological report is meant to be used in conjunction with other tools, such as comprehensive background checks, practical demonstration or record of work skills. Graphology supporters state that it can complement but not replace traditional hiring tools.

Research in employment suitability has ranged from complete failure [cite paper|author=Lighton, R E|title=A Graphological Examination of the Handwriting of Air Pilots|work=Thesis in the Faculty of Arts|publisher=University of Pretoria|date=1934] to guardedsuccess. [cite journal|author=Luca, E S.|title=Major Aptitudes and Personality Chracteristics of 42 Dental Students as Evaluated Through their Handwriting|journal=New York Journal of Dentistry|date=1973|volume=43|pages=281&ndash;283] The most substantial reason for not using handwriting analysis in the employment process is the absence of evidence of a direct link between handwriting analysis and various measures of job performance [cite paper|author=Thomas, S.L., Vaught, S.|title=The write stuff: What the evidence says about using handwriting analysis in hiring |work=Thesis in the Faculty of Arts|publisher=S.A.M. Advanced Management Journal Vol. 66, Iss. 4, pg. 31. 5 pgs|date=2001]

The use of graphology in the hiring process has been criticized on ethical grounds [cite journal|author=Daryl Koehn|title=Handwriting Analysis In Pre-Employment Screening|journal=The Online Journal of Ethics|volume=1|issue=1] and on legal grounds. [cite journal|author=Julie Spohn|title=The Legal Implications of Graphology|journal=Washington University Law Quarterly|volume=73|issue=3|date=Fall 1997]

Business compatibility

This is an additional service offered by some handwriting analysts.The focus of these reports can be one, or more of the following:

; Company-wide : This is a report the describes how compatible the individual is, with each employee in the company.; The average company employee : For this report, the mean, mode, and median scores of every scored data point , for the entire company are used, to create three hypothetical employees. The individual is then compared to these three employees, with the focus being how good a fit the individual is.; Division wide : This is a report that describes how compatible the individual is, with each employee in the division.; The average division employee : For this report, the mean, mode, and median scores of every scored data point , for the entire division are used, to create three hypothetical employees. The individual is then compared to these three employees, with focus being how well the individual will fit into the existing company psychodynamic profile.; Unit wide : This is a report the describes how compatible the individual is, with each employee in the unit.; The average unit employee : For this report, the mean, mode, and median scores of every scored data point , for the entire unit are used, to create three hypothetical employees. Those are then compared to the applicant, with a focus on how good a fit the individual is.; The unit manager / Co-worker : This explores the differences in personal style between a manager/co-worker and potential employee. The end result is on how each can maximize productivity and minimize personal friction.; Composite reports : This explores the difference in personal style between every employee in a group. The idea is for each member of the group to learn not only their own strengths and weakness, but also those of their co-workers, and how they can more harmoniously work together. The resulting reports not only deal with the individual on a one-to-one level within the group, but also each individual as a part of a group of three, four, five, etc people within the group.

The content of these reports can range from a simple perspectrograph, to a four wheel Wittlich Diagram and accompanying twenty five thousand word analysis.

Psychological analysis

These reports can range from a ten item check off list to a 25 page report on the makeup of an individual from the perspective of Freudian Psychoanalysis, Transactional Analysis [Chimera, Mary Ann The Conflict Traits and TA Script Issues: Sensitiveness "Impact Magazine" July 1980, 39, 1 - 3] , or another personality theory.

A major value of a graphological analysis lies in the increased understanding of people and the ability consequently to enjoy improved relationships both personally and professionally.cite book
last = Moretti
first = Girolamo
authorlink =
title = Trattato Scientifico di Perizie Grafiche su base Grafologica
publisher = L'alberto
date = 1942
location = Verona
pages =
url =
doi =
id =
isbn =
]

Marital compatibility

In its simplest form only sexual expression and sexual response are examined. At its most complex, every aspect of an individual is examined for how it affects the other individual(s). The basic theory is that after knowing and understanding how each other is different, any commitment that is made will be more enduring. Typically done for couples, it is not unknown for a polyamorous group to obtain a report prior to the commitment ceremony of a new individual.

In cultures where arranged marriages are common, graphology can be used as an additional checkpoint on the compatibility of the couple prior to the elders giving their consent for the marriage to take place.

Medical diagnosis

Medical graphology [Cite Journal
last = Ludewig
first = R
author-link =
last2 = Lewinson
first2 = T S
author2-link =
title = Profiles and Limits of Medical Graphology
journal = Z Gesamte Inn Med
volume = 47
issue = 12
pages = 549–557
year = 1992
url = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=1285461&dopt=Abstract
doi =
id =
] is probably the most controversial aspect of handwriting analysis. Strictly speaking, such research is not graphology as described throughout this article but an examination of factors pertaining to motor control. Research studies have been conducted in which a detailed examination of handwriting factors, particularly timing, fluidity, pressure, and consistency of size, form, speed, and pressure are considered in the process of evaluating patients and their response to pharmacological therapeutic agents. [Cite Journal
last = Kopp
first = W
author-link =
last2 = Paulson
first2 = G
author2-link =
last3 = Allen
first3 = J
author3-link =
last4 = Smeltzer
first4 = F
author4-link =
last5 = Brown
first5 = F
author5-link =
last6 = Koss
first6 = W
author6-link =
title = Parkinson's Disease: L-dopa Treatment and Handwriting Areas
journal = Current Therapeutic Research
volume = 12
issue = 3
pages = 115–124
year = 1970
url =
doi =
id =
] . The study of these phenomena is a by-product of researchers investigating motor control processes and the interaction of nervous, anatomical, and biomechanical systems of the body.

"The Vanguard Code of Ethical Practice", amongst others, prohibits medical diagnosis unless one is also licensed to do diagnosis in the state in which they practice.

Jury screening

A graphologist is given handwriting samples of a prospective jury and determines who should be struck, based upon their alleged personality profile. After the trial has begun, the graphologist advises counsel on how to slant their case, for the most favorable response from the jury.Citation
last = Iannetta
first = Kimon
author-link =
title = Jury Consultant
date =
year = 2005
url = http://www.trialrun.com/id4u/services/legal.html
accessdate = 2008-06-22
]

Graphotherapy

This is the practice of changing a person's handwriting with the goal of changing features of his or her personality. It was pioneered in France during the nineteen-thirties, spreading to the United states in the late fifties. Citation
last = de Sainte Columbe
first = Paul
author-link =
title = Grapho Therapeutics: Pen and Pencil Therapy
place= Hollywood, CA
publisher = Laurida Books
year = 1966
location =
volume =
edition = 1st
url =
doi =
id =
] Citation
last = de Sainte Columbe
first = Paul
author-link =
title = Grapho Therapeutics: Pen and Pencil Therapy
place= Hollywood, CA
publisher = Paul de St Columbe Center
year = 1972
location =
volume =
edition = 2nd
url =
doi =
id =
]

The therapy consists of a series of exercises which are similar to those taught in basic calligraphy courses, sometimes in conjunction with music or positive self-talk. There have been anecdotal reports of these exercises curing everything from drug addiction to anorexia nervosa,citation
first = Ron
last = Laufer
authorlink =
title = AHAF Convention
date = 1991
location = Tucson, AZ
url =
doi =
id =
accessdate =
] and back to borderline personality disorder.

Forensic document examination

This discipline is better known as questioned document examination within the judicial system. This is used to determine whether or not a document was written by the person who is thought to have written it. As such, this is not an aspect of graphology.

"Goodtitle Drevett v Braham" 100 Eng Rep 1139 (1792) is reportedly the first case at which the testimony of a questioned document examiner was accepted.

Divination

Some individuals believe that one can tell the future from handwriting analysis. Others believe that a handwriting analyst can provide spiritual guidance on situations that they face. These beliefs are claimed to be false for reasons ranging from the complete lack of either scientific or anecdotal evidence, to the application of Aristotelian logic to any of the numerous (and mutually incompatible) theories of handwriting analysis. Most graphologists reject supernatural insights from their assessment of handwriting.

The code of ethics for the "International Graphoanalysis Society", "British Association of Graphology", and "Association Déontologique Européenne de Graphologie" prohibits the practice of anything related to the occult.

References

See also

Systems of handwriting analysis

* Graphoanalysis
* Psychogram

Graphologists

*Camillo Baldi
*Ludwig Klages
*Léopold Szondi
*Robert Saudek
*Max Pulver

Organizations of handwriting analysts

* International Graphoanalysis Society
* British Institute of Graphologists
* Association of Qualified Graphologists

Related fields

* Asemic writing
* Questioned document examination
* Calligraphy
* Graphonomics
* Doodle

External links


*
* [http://skepdic.com/graphol.html Skeptic's Dictionary entry on graphology]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4223445.stm BBC article about graphology]
* [http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/grapho.html How Graphology Fools People]
* [http://www.britishgraphology.org/analyses/MichonAndScientificGraphology.htm "Michon and the Birth of Scientific Graphology"] from "Vanguard" graphological journal January-March 2007
* [http://www.graphology.it Graphological analysis based on Moretti's method]


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  • graphology — UK US /ɡrəˈfɒlədʒi/ noun [U] HR ► the study of the way that people make letters and words when writing by hand. This is sometimes used to learn something about a person s character: »Can graphology help people assess their own career prospects?… …   Financial and business terms

  • graphology — gra*phol o*gy (gr[.a]*f[o^]l [ o]*j[y^]), n. [Gr. gra fein to write + logy: cf. F. graphologie.] 1. The art of judging of a person s character, disposition, and aptitude from his handwriting; called {graphoanalysis} by its practitioners. Though… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • graphology — study of handwriting, 1882, from Fr. graphologie, coined 1868 by Abbé Jean Hippolyte Michon (1806 1881) from comb. form of Gk. graphein to write (see GRAPHY (Cf. graphy)) + logos a speaking, a dealing with (see LOGOS (Cf. logos)). Especially,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • graphology — ► NOUN 1) the study of handwriting, especially as used to infer a person s character. 2) Linguistics the study of written and printed symbols and of writing systems. DERIVATIVES graphological adjective graphologist noun. ORIGIN from Greek graph… …   English terms dictionary

  • graphology — [graf äl′ə jē] n. [Fr graphologie: see GRAPHO & LOGY] the study of handwriting, esp. as a clue to character, aptitudes, etc. graphologist n …   English World dictionary

  • graphology — graphoanalysis graph o*an*al y*sis (gr[a^]f [ o]*an*[a^]l [i^]*s[i^]s), n. The art of judging of a person s character, disposition, and aptitude from his handwriting; also called {graphology}. As a discipline, the modern form was developed by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • graphology — graphologic /graf euh loj ik/, graphological, adj. graphologist, n. /gra fol euh jee/, n. 1. the study of handwriting, esp. when regarded as an expression of the writer s character, personality, abilities, etc. 2. Ling. the study of systems of… …   Universalium

  • graphology — [[t]græfɒ̱ləʤi[/t]] N UNCOUNT Graphology is the study of people s handwriting in order to discover what sort of personality they have …   English dictionary

  • graphology — noun Etymology: French graphologie, from grapho + logie logy Date: 1882 the study of handwriting especially for the purpose of character analysis • graphological adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • graphology — noun the study of handwriting, especially as a means of analyzing character See Also: graphologist …   Wiktionary


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