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Graphology: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is graphology?
2. When did graphology start? Is it a science?
3. Where can graphology be used?
4. What are the advantages of using graphology in commercial organizations?
5. Where is graphology commonly used?
6. What can graphology tell about a person?
7. How accurate is graphology?
8. How does graphology work?
9. What is the connection between personality and handwriting?
10. Does it matter if the writer is left-handed?
11. Why do graphologists ask for information about the age, sex and handedness of the writer?
12. My handwriting changes from time to time. How is an accurate analysis possible?
13. Doesn’t handwriting change according to the writing instrument and the writing surface used?
14. If the subject masks his natural handwriting, can he fool the graphologist?
15. Can graphology tell the future?
16. If handwriting reflects the personality, is the reverse also true? If I change my handwriting will it reflect in a change in my personality?
17. What is the significance of the signature?



 

 

 



1. What is graphology?

Graphology is the art and science of analyzing human personality through the study of graphic movement, such as handwriting and drawings, to gain insights into the mental, physical and emotional states of the writer.

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2. When did graphology start? Is it a science?

Graphology started as a formally researched science in the 17th century in Europe, though there are references to it’s use dating back to Greek and Roman times. Graphology is a well-researched science, as exact as any branch of psychology. Researchers have studied thousands upon thousands of specimens of handwriting to correlate handwriting characteristics with known personality traits such as intelligence, aptitudes, attitudes, temperament, motivation and integrity. The science is well documented and widely accepted as a valuable tool in understanding people.

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3. Where can graphology be used?

Graphology can be used with great advantage in any field where it is important to understand people well, such as:

• For self-understanding and self-improvement.
• To understand partners, associates and peers.
• By teachers to help in child development.
• By organizations for various H.R. applications.
• For selection and appraisal in defense forces.
• In psychiatry.

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4. What are the advantages of using graphology in commercial organizations?

In corporate life, graphology has great potential in Recruitment, Motivation, Appraisal, Personality Profiling and Counseling; in other words, in building stronger and more appropriate teams.

Organizations need methods that can evaluate the various aspects of employee attitudes and values and gain information not normally available from resumes, references and interviews. Such methods need to be easy to administer, reproducible and objective.

Graphology provides such a method and has the advantage over other psychometric tools that it can be applied without having to administer a formal test. Moreover, distortion of the results by the subject trying to manipulate a question and answer test is avoided. A graphological analysis can be made from any specimen of handwriting and signature. In half an hour of studying a subject’s handwriting, a skilled graphologist would know more about him than after half a year of interaction with him.

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5. Where is graphology commonly used?

Today, graphology is commonly used in U.S.A., Europe, Israel and South America in corporate, defense and psychiatric areas - in fact, in any area where it is important to understand people well.

It is estimated that 10% of all companies in England use graphology for personnel screening and as many as 80% of French businesses use graphology as a tool for the evaluation of applicants for various positions.

In India, graphology in H.R. is an untapped resource of great potential, which is just starting to be accepted as a valid tool in determining personality traits. Companies that have ventured to use graphology in H.R. have benefited immensely.

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6. What can graphology tell about a person?

A graphological analysis performed by a skilled practitioner can reveal extensive information about the intellectual, emotional and psychological buildup of an individual, including areas such as intelligence, attitudes, aptitudes, temperament, identity, ego and motivation, communications and interpersonal skills, reliability, and affinities.

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7. How accurate is graphology?

As with any other rational science, the accuracy of graphology is a function of the skill of the practitioner, in this case the graphologist. The handwriting does not lie. Competently done, a graphological analysis can produce an accuracy of over 95%.

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8. How does graphology work?

Your handwriting is a record of your personality, a mirror in which is reflected your character and abilities, your thoughts and emotions, your talents and ambitions, your attitude towards the past, the future and towards the world around you. All these and much more are set down in a permanent record by the strokes of your pen. It is essentially a graphic expression of the neurological processes of the writer's brain.

If you were to compare samples of your handwriting at various times over a period of years, you will notice how they vary. In school we were taught to write in a cursive manner between four lines and our handwriting was relatively uniform. Today, your handwriting bears little resemblance to the samples from your school days. Just as your personality has developed and changed over the years, so has your handwriting, it’s faithful echo.

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9. What is the connection between personality and handwriting?

The reason for this relationship between personality and handwriting is that every nervous or muscular movement originates in the brain. The hand merely holds the writing instrument. It is the brain that directs its movements, which are responsible for the way you write. Handwriting is literally “brainwriting”, which like fingerprints, is uniquely our own.

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10. Does it matter if the writer is left-handed?

As we have said, handwriting is really “brainwriting”. It is therefore immaterial whether the writer is left-handed or right-handed. It is a wrong impression that lefties predominantly write with a backhanded stroke. The handedness of the writer does not make a difference to a graphological analysis.

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11. Why do graphologists ask for information about the age, sex and handedness of the writer?

The age, sex and handedness of the writer cannot be determined from the handwriting. It is good for the record that this information is available to the graphologist to validate some of his deductions. For example, rigid writing may be the sign of a personality trait or may be produced by a physical, age-related infirmity.

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12. My handwriting changes from time to time. How is an accurate analysis possible?

Some qualities of ourselves and therefore of our handwriting are fixed, and others are temporary and can change.
Fixed traits are either those with which we have been born, or those which have developed and been fixed early in life by our early environment, training and influences. Examples of fixed traits are:
• I.Q.
• Temperament
• Aptitudes
• Identity

Unfixed traits can change, be developed and are shaped by the current environment, training and influences. Examples of variable traits are:
• Ability
• Attitudes
• Moods
• Motivational Level
Both fixed and unfixed traits emerge from a graphological analysis.

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13. Doesn’t handwriting change according to the writing instrument and the writing surface used?

Yes. Though basic handwriting traits do not change with the instrument and surface, the finer points of the writing will certainly change. This is why the best analysis is made with a writing instrument the writer is most comfortable with and on a smooth an even surface. This is really like the difference between practicing an art (whether medicine or painting) with proper tools and practicing it under field conditions.

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14. If the subject masks his natural handwriting, can he fool the graphologist?

Not for long. Even though the writer tries to mask his natural writing, he cannot do it for long and small characteristics of his normal handwriting will show through and the handwriting will slowly revert to the normal style. This is why, the larger the specimen of handwriting, the more complete and accurate will be the analysis.

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15. Can graphology tell the future?

No, graphology cannot tell the future. Graphology is a rational science and not an occult one. It is concerned with who the subject is and what his state of mind is. However, graphology can bring out the strong and weak points of the individual, which can be addressed to influence future trends.

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16. If handwriting reflects the personality, is the reverse also true? If I change my handwriting will it reflect in a change in my personality?

Yes! Influencing the personality by changing of the handwriting is a branch of graphology called graphotherapy. If for example, you were a very careless person, it would show in the carelessness and perhaps the large size of your handwriting. By regularly practicing to write small and neatly you would be forced to concentrate on what you are doing and your brain will over a period of time be trained to change. However, it must be understood that character traits have been built up over decades and changes cannot be expected overnight.

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17. What is the significance of the signature?

Your handwriting images your inner self and your personality. Your signature represents your public self-image, how you behave in public, what you think of yourself in public and what you would like others to think of you.

When you put down your signature, you are leaving your public identity on the paper. You are telling the world, “This is me!” If your signature is large, you are also saying, “Look at me!” If the size and type of the letters in your signature are consistent with your handwriting, your public image is consistent with the real you. If however, your signature is different in size and type from your script, you project a public image, which is different from the person you really are. The same principles of graphology apply to the analysis of the signature and reveal much additional information about the subject.

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