For centuries, experts have analysed and studied people’s handwriting in a bid to discovery the link between one’s writing styles and their personality. This phenomenon is known as ‘Graphology’— the study and analysis of handwritings in relation to psychology.
The history of Graphology as an art dates hundreds of years back. According to the research findings of Jean Charles Gille-Maisani, a 1575 manuscript by Juan Huarte de San Juan, a Spanish medic, were the first writings on Graphology.
However, Prospero Aldorisio’s 1611 manuscript was probably the first book that described how to analyse handwriting. Fourteen years later, the first authorised and published manuscripts on Graphology were those of Camillo Baldi, an Italian doctor of medicine and philosophy.
Writing is simply explained as making expressive movements. These movements usually have meanings and interpretations. That’s why handwritings are sometimes referred to as “Brainwritings.”
Different people express a wide range of handwriting characteristics which interestingly tells a lot about their personalities.
In a slanted handwriting for example, a forward slant indicates high emotional expressiveness and a sensitive character, a left slant indicates emotional withdrawal and a hardness of character while a vertical handwriting indicates moderate, restrained emotional expression and a balanced frame or state of mind.
Also the angle of the lines that handwritings take on unlined paper, have meaning. People who write with an upward angle indicate optimism and higher energy while a downward angle trailing off the page indicates low energy or physical exhaustion.
The general shape of the writing strokes also tells a lot. A circular handwriting indicates an agreeable and easygoing nature, an angular handwriting with sharp points indicates aggressiveness, directness and high energy, square handwriting indicates a real world and practical character while scrawls and irregular strokes indicate an artistic and a non-average character.
When it comes to individual letters, the way a person writes “t” and “y” carries a large number of interpretations. For example, in the letter “t” the placement of the horizontal “bar” on the vertical “stem” indicates where one places their goals, while the height of the t-stem indicates the potential to accomplish those goals.
In other words, a low “t” bar indicates goals or self esteem set lower than what can be accomplished, a high bar depicts goals that are set high and a high self esteem, while a way above the stem indicates setting goals higher than can be accomplished.
The case of letter “y” is different. A “y” that is so curved and twisted and has been crossed back so elaborately or several times can indicate a perverted state of mind.
Lastly the amount of pressure applied on the paper while writing indicates the emotional intensity behind a person’s behavior, or the level of stress.
Meaning, the heavier the pressure, the more intense the emotions of the writer or the more stress the person is experiencing. Other than indicating a person’s character, today, Graphology has been employed in different walks of life.
It is actively used in compiling profiles for employment, business partnerships and marital compatibility. In Switzerland, approximately 80 percent of large corporations use graphology in their hiring procedures.
Other than this Graphology is used in psychological analysis, Jury Screening, Forensic document examination in the judiciary to determine whether or not a document was written by the person in question.
Despite its advantages, Graphology has been a controversial field for more than a century. Although supporters point to the evidence of thousands of positive testimonials as a reason to use it for personality evaluation, most studies fail to show the validity claimed by its supporters.
One aspect of controversy lies in medical diagnosis. Though handwriting analysis can be used to track diseases of the brain and nervous system, The Vanguard Code of Ethical Practice (a law that prevents the misuse of non-public information and ensures honest and ethical conduct from individuals holding sensitive positions in society), amongst others, still prohibits its usage unless someone is fully licensed to do diagnosis in their practice.
Another controversy is its usage in divination where some individuals believe that one can tell the future from analysing handwriting. These beliefs are claimed to be false for reasons ranging from the complete lack of either scientific or one-sided evidence, to the application theories of handwriting analysis.
A good example of invalidity by using handwritings as a method of telling the future was in the predictions of Scott and Stephen Petullo, experts in metaphysics (a theory of the essence of things and fundamental principles that organise the universe).
Prior to the US presidential election in November 2008, these two metaphysicians were aired in the news and posted on websites as they assured the world, that John McCain would have great victory over Barrack Obama.
Everyone knows this is not true because Obama is now US President Elect and will be sworn in on January 20th, 2009. In light of all this, one can only contemplate on the accuracy of Graphology. Statistics show that Graphology is around 80-90 percent accurate. However, a lot of this depends on the ability and advanced training of the person doing the Graphology analysis.