Frequently Asked Questions about Handwriting Analysis
1: What is handwriting analysis?
It is a scientific method of identifying, evaluating, and understanding a person's personality via the strokes and patterns revealed by his handwriting. A certified Handwriting Analyst examines the strokes on paper. Each written movement or stroke produces a corresponding personality trait. These strokes are translated into a personality profile that tells: Traits, Behaviors, Perceptions, and Responses.
The handwriting analyst is not "document examining", which is when a person examines a sample of writing to determine the author. Document examining is often used in forgery cases. In document examining, no comment of character or personality is derived from the handwriting.
2: Do the terms graphology, handwriting analysis, and Graphoanalysis mean the same?
Not in America. Although, graphology and handwriting analysis have been used for centuries to describe evaluating personality through the study of handwriting, a few distinctions have arisen in the past 50 years.
Most experienced analysts agree that combining the many schools of thought gives the analyst the most flexibility and resources that results in a more accurate personality assessment.
3: What can be told about a person from his handwriting?
Handwriting reveals hundreds of elements of the person's "personality and character" which includes glimpses into the subconscious mind, emotional responsiveness, intellect, energy, fears and defenses, motivations, imagination, integrity, aptitudes, and even sex drives and issues of trust. There are over 300 individual traits revealed and an unlimited number of combinations.
4: What can one NOT tell from handwriting analysis?
It cannot identify age, gender, race, religion, whether a person is right- or left-handed, or the future.
5: How does handwriting reveal personality?
Handwriting is often referred to as "brain writing". Research scientists in the fields of neuro-science have categorized neuro-muscular movement tendencies as they are correlated with specific observable personality traits. Each personality trait is represented by a neurological brain pattern. Each neurological brain pattern produces a unique neuro-muscular movement that is the same for every person who has that personality trait. When writing, these tiny movements occur unconsciously. Each written movement or stroke reveals a specific personality trait.
Handwriting analysts identify these strokes as they appear in handwriting and describe the corresponding personality trait. Handwriting is like body language, but is more specific and is frozen for a more detailed analysis of our unconscious movements.
6: How accurate is handwriting analysis?
It is only as accurate as the analyst is talented. Most professionals claim to be 85-95% accurate. Compared to other personality assessment tools and tests, handwriting analysis is sometimes more accurate and much more revealing. When answering psychological questions in person or on paper, a person may consciously or unconsciously answer according to how he thinks he should answer rather than giving an honest reply. The clinical research is divided as to the validity of handwriting analysis. Again, it depends on who you ask.
7: How old is handwriting analysis?
Research has found references to handwriting analysis as far back as 4500 BC. In 99 AD, the Roman historian Suetonius studied Emperor Augustus' personality from his handwriting. The first handwriting analysis book was published in 1622 by Camildo Baldo. Most pioneering research was performed before 1929 in Europe. The modern scientific method of analyzing individual strokes in handwriting began in 1915 by Milton Bunker.
8: Is handwriting analysis a science or an art?
It is a clinical science. The Library of Congress categorized it as a credible social science in 1981. It is not a hard science like chemistry. It falls under the same category as psychology.
9: Who uses handwriting analysis?
Anyone interested in gaining a better of understanding of themselves and others:
10: What about people who print?
It is a generality, but worth answering. Handwriting analysts can analyze print as well as Cursive writing. A stroke is a stroke is a stroke.
11: What about people who have a combination of both printing and cursive?
People that mix and match both cursive and print are quite normal. Mixing printing and cursive really isn't an unusual event. In fact, it is so common that taken by itself, it's meaning is not terribly significant. We must look at the rest of the writing.
12: Why does my handwriting change from day to day?
Certain strokes represent emotions and moods. As your feelings and moods change from minute to minute, those corresponding particular strokes will change. However, the basic character-defining traits will remain the same. And, if you "really" have a total variation in handwriting styles, you are one moody person and should cut down on the sugar snacks.
13: Do you analyze the writing of a left-handed person the same as a right-handed person?
Yes. Whether a person writes with the right or left hand, the traits revealed will be the same. Even people that have learned to write with their mouth or foot, due to amputations of their limbs, reveal the same information from their "brain writing."
14: Are there "good" and "bad" traits?
Traits are neither "good" nor "bad" in themselves. They just "are." Our judgment of whether or not the trait is useful in a given situation makes us label these traits "good" or "bad." However, each trait can have both negative and positive features depending on how the trait manifests itself in behavior as it combines with other aspects of one's personality. Handwriting analysis does not judge or label. It serves to identify and understand aspects of personality and behavior.
15: Can handwriting reveal a person's honesty?
There is no single trait that indicates honesty. However, there are several traits that, when present in certain combinations with each other and with other traits, can give us clues about a person's integrity. There are also traits that indicate talkativeness, secretiveness, and deceit. As anyone who has ever been to court will testify, ethics are a very subjective thing, so the trait of "honesty" has many factors that it depends upon.
16: Can you tell if a person is a criminal by his handwriting?
No, by definition a person isn't a criminal until he has been convicted of a crime. A combination of certain traits can warn of possible criminal tendencies, but handwriting cannot reveal whether a person has or will commit a crime. You can make an educated guess about the person's likelihood to obey the rules, become gullible, aggressive, or even steal... but you can't be definitive about his criminal bent.
17: Why don't people write the way they were taught in elementary school?
Some people do, just look at your local third grade teacher. As children grow and mature, their handwriting changes and becomes a unique representation of their individual personality characteristics. The more a person's writing varies from the model they were taught, the more their morals and attitudes move away from the conventional model of the world they were taught as kids.
18: Is handwriting analysis the same for all languages?
It depends on the alphabet. The strokes that are relevant in a Latin-based language are well researched and widely taught. Therefore, all Latin-based languages such as English, Spanish, Italian, French, etc. are fair game. However, many languages have completely different alphabets and, therefore, different analysis techniques.
19: Can I really change my personality by changing my handwriting?
Grapho-Therapy is one of the most modern and effective behavioral modification tools available today. It works for two reasons. First, neuro-muscular connections have a direct impact on the neuro-pathways to the brain that hold patterns of behavior. Secondly, it gives the subject a clear and visual representation of the change she is making on a daily basis... reinforcing the belief system and cementing the change in behavior consciously and unconsciously.
20: Is handwriting analysis an invasion of privacy?
No, but it could make someone feel a little naked. Seriously, the Supreme Court, in 1977, "United States v. Sydney Rosinsky" (FRP249), ruled: "What someone's handwriting looks like is considered public information -- similar to, for example, how someone dresses or their body language, and the psychological analysis that can be extracted from the information is not considered an invasion of privacy."