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Handwriting Analysis – Incredible Accuracy in Personality Analysis Despite Skeptics’ Doubts
Skeptics of handwriting analysis say they want statistics on the validity of handwriting analysis, such as those involving published medical studies. Yet time and time again the outcomes of such scientific studies are proved unreliable due to bias (e.g., the study that found the drug superior was sponsored by the company that makes it).
Or, skeptics suggest that a handwriting analysis study should be “peer-reviewed.” However, there are many studies showing that peer review doesn’t enhance the accuracy of scientific work at all.
You can’t prove that something has scientific validity. But you can prove a practice invalid. So far, handwriting analysis (or comprehensive astrology, or comprehensive numerology, etc.) has yet to be proven invalid. The above studies very firmly lend authenticity to the science of graphology.
An aside, handwriting analysts never claim 100% accuracy, and there doesn’t exist any psychological assessment tool that is 100% accurate.
Handwriting analysis is a valid supplement to other testing methods. It’s extremely useful in determining if a job applicant fits a job description, thereby saving the company time and money, along with helping to reduce security risks. It does not, however, directly predict the success of the applicant on the job.
Handwriting analysis is also extremely effective in assessing already existing employees’ strengths and challenges. It can go a long way in helping to improve workplace productivity and morale by uncovering true abilities and compatibility.
Reasonable levels of accuracy are assured if the graphologist has extensive training, such as by earning certification from a respected handwriting analysis school. An analyst knowledgeable in both trait-based and holistic approach graphology is best, rather than only one of the two methodologies.
A graphologist’s analysis is relative to the time the handwriting sample was written. Although it’s possible for a person’s script to change somewhat over time, the basic structure (organization, form, zonal balance, spacing, etc.) most often remains the same. But it is a good idea to have the person offer an updated writing sample for a current analysis if the person has gone through some major life changes, or if the last analysis they had done was when they were 23, and they are now 43, for example.
For those who are still skeptical of graphology, recall that many respected scientists in the earlier part of the twentieth century insisted that psychology could not be a science. It took decades for psychology to be accepted as the valid science it is today.
The U.S. Library of Congress catalogues graphology (handwriting analysis) books in the psychology, document examination, and personnel screening categories.
“Graphologist” (handwriting analyst) is listed in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Directory of Occupational Titles (DOT) as “miscellaneous professional.”
The U.S. Department of Labor Dictionary of Occupational Titles lists the profession of graphologist (handwriting analyst) as follows:
Analyzes handwriting to appraise personal characteristics: Obtains handwriting specimen to observe overall appearance of writing and detailed formation of letters. Measures height of letters and slant of writing, using calibrated templates. Observes individual writing strokes to determine unique or distinguishing characteristics, using ruler and low-power magnifying glass or microscope. Evaluates handwriting sample and interprets findings, according to theories of handwriting analysis. May use diagram to plot writing characteristics. GOE: 02.04.01 STRENGTH: S GED: R4 M3 L3 SVP: 6 DLU: 89
Evidence of handwriting analysis having done harm in personnel selection or in other applications in the workplace is non-existent.
If you insist on scientific reviews, there exist many involving the science of handwriting analysis. The best anyone can do is to conduct objective empirical investigations, such as the ones here (extensive list–over 200, many from the past decade–of scientific papers published in non-graphological peer-reviewed journals since 1950): here
Over 300 handwriting indicators must be considered in doing a thorough analysis. Some of the more notable considerations are as follows: consistency; compression; down-strokes; elaboration; expansion; finals; fluidity; form; harmony; lead-ins; loops; margins; movement; organization; pressure; rhythm; signature compared to the rest of script; size; slant; overall arrangement and picture of space; spacing (letter, word, line, etc.); speed; zonal balance and much more.
Does any single consideration, such as excessive elaboration, override the cumulative strength of the collective body of other considerations? No.
All of the hundreds of indicators in a handwriting sample collectively either support or reduce the energy of any one consideration. Any single indicator must be corroborated by other indicators. The analyst weighs individual considerations and then views them in the context of the entire writing sample; the sample is dissected then re-built into a profile outlining the personality.
Graphology is grounded in common sense. For example, pressure of handwriting is symbolic of emphasis in speech; size is representative of how much attention you want; slant is how you react (left = withdrawal, right = outwardly expressive); writing movement is how you act (e.g., appears to be moving forward quickly equates to high drive, etc.); and signature could be interpreted as how you want others to view you. Handwriting is like mind-writing and handwriting analysis is a mind interpretation method.
Graphology is a valid, ethical approach to help define a person’s abilities and challenges, and it can help employers run their businesses more efficiently (before and after hiring). It can also be used by parents, singles, couples, teachers, and anyone else who is seeking more understanding about themselves and others.
Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo
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