Handwriting: More than Just Ink [Graphology]

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Handwriting analysis is also known as graphology. Graphology is defined as the study of handwriting, especially as used to infer a person's character. The interest in handwriting as an expression of personality is as old as the practice itself. “Chinese philosophers have been fascinated with handwriting since ancient times and have been especially interested in the distinct styles of calligraphy produced by different writers” (Sackheim,1990, p. xv-xvi). The first methodical attempts to study handwriting took place in Italy in the beginning of the seventeenth century. Alderisius Prosper published in Bologna a study called Ideographia. Camillo Baldo soon after tried making a formal recording which presented a way for judging the nature of a writer from his letters. These were all lost. But they obviously attracted readers. It became practiced from “castle to castle” by people trying to make money from handwriting interpretations (Roman, 1952, p.3). The surprising thing about graphology that is not all about handwriting analysis. “Graphology is the study of the graphic movement; it is not simply ‘handwriting analysis” (McNichol and Nelson, 1991, p. 23). This is why graphologists can also study doodles, drawings, sculptures, and paintings to infer a person’s character and the physical, mental, and emotional states of the subject. These creations are called brain prints. These reveal who we are, how we think, feel and behave. These mind x-rays are very evident in handwriting since we for the most part don’t think about how we write. Graphology is a good way to loosely judge people, who they truly might be.
Whenever we take a write utensil and begin writing, much of what we’re doing comes naturally. This is an unconscious act. But there are times when we’ll change how we write certain letters because we like the other way of writing it more. This is a conscious effort. Both of these can be analyzed. The latter can be analyzed just as well as the former because it is a conscious effort of trying to change unconsciously to a certain trait. The style of the changed letter seems appealing because the characteristic does, unconsciously or consciously (McNichol et al, 1991).
There are the fixed traits: IQ, aptitudes, temperament, and identity. And there are unfixed traits: ability...

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...tremendously. I found out who the people around me are according to graphology. And it made me pick up on certain characteristics of myself that perhaps I need to change. If I change them in writing, eventually they will change in real life if I make that effort (McNichol et al , 1991)


Greasley, P. (2000). Handwriting analysis and personality assessment: the creative use of analogy, symbolism, and metaphor. European Psychologist., 5(1), 44-51.

Koehler, Derek J., and Roy N. King. "Illusory Correlations in Graphological Inference." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied Vol. 6.4 (2000): 336-348.

Roman, K. (1952). Handwriting: a key to personality. New York: Pantheon Books, Inc.

Santoli, O. (1989). How to read handwriting. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc.

McNichol, A., & Nelson, J. (1991). Handwriting analysis putting it to work for you. Chicago: Contemporary Books, Inc.

Sackheim, K. (1990). Handwriting analysis and the employee selection process. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, Inc.
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