Graphology is the study and analysis of an
individuals handwriting to gather information about his/her
varied personality traits. Majority of scientists classify
Graphology as a pseudo-science. But handwriting analysis is being
used for determining authenticity of signatures in Will,
documents and manuscripts as a legal identifier. So the term
Graphology also refers to scientific examination of handwriting
to detect forgery and the Courts accept the testimony of
graphology experts in this respect.
Graphologists normally require a full
length ink specimen written in normal conditions. The specimen
should not reveal the writers name, age, sex, nationality,
religion, left-handedness or right-handedness.
No two handwritings are identical like
fingerprints. Hand writing of a person is unique in nature. The
pattern of writing will not match with other persons writing in
any case. Graphologists generally consider so many elements to
analyse the handwriting such as types of strokes, sizes,
formations, loops, space between letters, capitals, signatures
uniformity, crossings, slants, angles, pressure, margins,
connections, rhythms, space between words, baselines, crossing
bars, breadth and height of letters and so on which represents
the interrelated aspect of the writers personality traits.
A Short History of Graphology
The first book on this subject appeared in
Capri on 1622 written by an Italian Doctor. Many people have been
interested in the relationship between handwriting and the
writers such as philosophers, scientists, historians and artists.
Subsequently several articles on this subject were published in
Italy, France and Switzerland up to 1800.In 1823,Stephen Collett,
an Englishman, published a book relating to Handwriting analysis.
The Modern Graphology is associated with
Jean Michon, who gave its name Graphology. He studied several
handwritings and characters systematically and published many
articles in 1872. Michon and his companion Jamin developed a
system for isolated signs to relate specific handwriting elements
to specific personality traits.
In late 1800s the French Psychologist
Alfred Binet conducted serious studies and experiments by testing
many graphologists. He was convinced that graphology had
potential and to use as a technique for personality testing.
In 1895,in Germany Whilhem Langerbruch
published Graphological Periodicals. In 1897 Hans Busses
published another magazine and formed a a Society for
Graphological research. One of the contributor to the magazine
was Dr.Ludwig Klages, a German philosopher, whose achievement in
graphological research were renowned. He had devised a system of
analysis based on standards of Handwriting. His hypothesis was
that handwriting is an expressive movement, similar to gesture,
gait and facial expression. He came up with a unifying principle
called rhythm-a measure of normality in the personality. But his
system was unable to distinguish between various degrees of
rhythm and the evaluation only depended on subjective judgement.
On getting influenced by Klagess work the Swiss
Graphologist Max Pulver continued to advance. He was contributed
to the analysis of depth in writing. He also studied the
stylish decorations in handwriting and interpreted it in terms of
psychoanalytic theory. The American psychologist June Downey has
also done experiments based on Klagess rhythm theory.
Around 1940 some graphologists were trained
in psychology. The alliance with graphologists and psychologists
were useful in research purposes and the clinical application of
In 1940,the Soviet psychologist Alexander
R. Luria studied the use of handwriting to determine the location
of brain injuries.
Handwriting consists of measurable elements
like slant and size, letter form ,left-hand and right-hand
tendencies. In 1942 American Psychologist Joseph Zubin and German
Graphologist T.S.Lewinston tried to make a common objective
yardstick measurable elements in handwriting. They used a scaling
based on the degrees of rhythm in muscular movements of the
writer. This method produced statistical evidence to
differentiate between abnormal and normal personalities but did
not show any relation with personality traits.
Experiments were also conducted on
handwriting specimens to find out relationship on writers
feeling, behaviour and attitude. Similar Clinical investigations
on relationship between handwrting and mental disorders are also
in progress. Electronic equipments are also used to detect the
writer's tensions, adaptation and other factors.
Graphology is being widely practised mostly
in European countries, particularly in France, Germany,
Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands and Britain. Many business
firms in these countries consult Graphologists for advice before
hiring people. Many Psychologists consider the study of
handwriting useful as a diagnostic tool even though it lacks
In European countries graphologists are
issued licenses and many Universities offer courses on
Graphology. Scholars are calling for thorough scientific studies
Graphology is not accurate all the time.
Behaviour and personality change continuously. So taking
handwriting samples for analysis over many months will give more
information about the personality traits. Compared to other tests
graphology is cheaper and faster and will quickly give some
information about the writer's character, emotions, intellect,
self-awareness, social adjustments, reliability, aptitudes,
creativity and other traits.
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