Some people have a higher capacity for retaining emotional experiences, such as holding on to their likes and dislikes, staying in love, or bearing grudges, than others.
When a person expresses a strong emotion, such as “I hate you” or “I adore you,” you may get the impression that he will continue to feel that way for years (perhaps the speaker genuinely believes that), even if he only has a shallow level of emotion that allows such feelings to last only a short time. He may feel the intensity of such strong emotions as strongly as anyone else at the time, but he is unable to hold them.
Emotional depth, like any other human ability, can be developed (or controlled). It’s not just a fixed trait that doesn’t change over time; it’s also not always present in direct proportion to the age of your subject; you might come across children or young people with deeply emotional natures, or mature adults with superficial and fleeting emotions.
The combination of width and pressure in normal handwriting strokes indicates emotional depth. (Artistic penmen’s shaded script, which has dramatically varying levels of line width and pressure, requires special attention.) Most writers instinctively strive to create a line width that they enjoy. Their favorite pen will be chosen because it makes such a line easily, and when using a less ideal pen, the writer will automatically adjust the pressure to compensate for a line that is too fine or too broad.
Judging the weight of a script is a skill that takes time to master. Some graphologists have experimented with various mechanical devices to measure pressure, the most famous of which is the Graphodyne, an oversized pen that records pressure variations (despite its sensitivity and obvious possibilities it is normally unavailable outside research institutes).
The Graphodyne was used in a variety of tests by analysts in the 1940s and 1950s, yielding a wealth of information about the symptoms of alcoholism and drug addiction. Some fans of this remarkable instrument took the logical step of connecting it to electrical recording equipment, and the results were fantastic.
Other graphologists prefer the carbon and blotting paper test. The test involves various steps:
- Place a piece of carbon paper on top of a piece of regular paper.
- Cover the carbon paper with a layer of blotting paper.
- Write on a piece of ordinary paper that has been placed on top of the blotting papers.
- Examine the piece of paper beneath the carbon sheet to see if any impressions have been made.
- Add acid or blotting paper sheets as needed until the script transmitted through the carbon is barely visible.
- For your assessment, use the number of pieces of blotting paper in place as a guide. However, keep in mind that, like the Graphodyne, this test is only useful if used before the sample is written.
The tactile test is one of the other tests that can be used. Although some traditional graphologists continue to use tests that involve feeling the reverse side of the paper for indentations caused by pen pressure, they aren’t very practical. They don’t consider the effects of the surface that supports the paper while writing.
Handwriting Line Qualities
Let’s take a look at how different line qualities reveal information about the author.
The use of broad or heavy line quality in writing indicates a nature that retains the effects of emotional experiences. Emotional depth is well developed in broad strokes. Broad-line writers hold on to memories (painful or pleasant) for longer than light-line writers; this is not to say that light-line writers don’t feel the impact of strong emotions when they happen.
The use of broad and heavy strokes suggests a nature that is strongly drawn to sensual experiences. They also indicate that you have a well-developed sense of color and/or sound. This type of line quality is very common in the handwriting of artists who use a lot of color in their work or musicians who rely on tonal qualities in their compositions.
Material things in general (and aesthetically pleasing items in particular) appeal to heavy-line writers more than light-line writers. They are also more likely to aspire to own and take pride in high-quality possessions. Desire for such things can be a powerful motivator for achieving career or financial goals.
Light-line writers tend to assimilate emotional experiences more naturally than broad-line writers. Because light-line writers assimilate emotional experiences more naturally than broad-line writers, emotional long-term effects are less noticeable. Light-line writers also have fewer personality changes as a result of carrying unmodified emotions for long periods of time.
More often than heavy-line writers, light-line writers appear to be satisfied with functional rather than beautiful items. Such writers are not artistically incapable – a well-developed sense of form, space, and style can be found in light-line script – but they are more likely to experiment with artistic media that suit their preferences.
Shaded writing, in which variable pressure results in variable depth, indicates a nature that is more emotionally developed in some areas than others (in proportion to the level of shading). In cases where there are significant differences in pressure, it can be assumed that there is inconsistency, if not outright instability, in the emotions.
The depth of the also reveals the extent to which the writer is driven to experience sensual stimulation, in addition to telling us about the endurance of emotions. Simply put, the width and weight of a handwriting sample graphically depicts a writer’s range of tastes and appetites.
We perceive the world around us through our five senses, and while certain sensual drives are universal, many of our tastes and preferences develop individually in response to our own personal experiences – the sights, sounds, tastes, and aromas that appeal to you may be distinctly unappealing to another person, and vice versa.
We can see examples of different types and degrees of taste all around us. Have you ever sat in a restaurant and noticed a gourmet diner satiating his epicurean appetite for rich foods and beverages? Have you ever come across a spartan diner who appears to regard food as merely a necessary nutritional function? One practically elevates eating to an art form (and likely derives additional pleasure from the sense of occasion evoked), whereas the other eats for nutrition.
Some psychologists argue that satisfying hunger is more than a pleasant sensation (for example, the unpleasantness of hunger motivates us to eat) – but it is clear that the gourmet diner continues to eat after hunger has been satisfied because he ENJOYS the prolonged stimulation provided to his taste buds more than the spartan diner.