HAND WRITING ANALYSIS

A.Mohamed Salim

Introduction

Graphology is the study and analysis of an individual’s 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 writer’s 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 Klages’s 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 Klages’s 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 graphology expanded.

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 writer’s 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.

Current Status

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 experimental evidence.

In European countries graphologists are issued licenses and many Universities offer courses on Graphology. Scholars are calling for thorough scientific studies of graphology.

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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