There have always been brilliant men and women who believe that the way we write is linked to us and what we are. As Aristotle put it, “Written words are the symbols of spoken words, and uttered words are the symbols of written words. Men do not all have the same speech sounds, and they do not all write in the same way.”
“I have above all noted… [that] he does not split his words, nor does he carry over to the following line any excess letters; instead, he places them under the concluding word and binds them to it with a stroke,” wrote Roman historian Suetonius Tranquillus of Emperor Augustus’ handwriting.
Thomas Gainsborough refused to paint a portrait unless the person sat next to him with a piece of his handwriting.
“There’s a really odd likeness; the two hands are in many places identical: only differently slanted,” Mr. Guest, the chief clerk, says to Mr. Utterson, the lawyer, in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He was referring to the handwriting of Jekyll and Hyde.
Aesop, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Sir Walter Scott, Disraeli, Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Balzac, Goethe, Edgar Allan Poe, George Sand, Thomas Mann, Alexandre Dumas, and Emile Zola were all supporters of graphology.
Sigmund Freud authored various technical studies illustrating the validity and applications of graphology in recent history. Alfred Binet, the man who created the current IQ test, spent several years studying graphology. Graphology, he said, is “the science of the future.”
Although graphology may be the science of the future, its broad acceptance is influenced by its academic position. Universities offer formal instruction and, in some cases, PhD degrees in graphology throughout Europe, the Soviet Union, South America, and Israel. It is quite difficult to obtain a job of any significance in these parts of the world without first having one’s handwriting evaluated. Israel, which is regarded as a leader in the sector, even instructs its border guards in the science to assist them in detecting intruders.
Graphology has been used by nations and businesses all over the world for decades, but it has only just begun to expand in the United States. Part of the reason for this gap is that there are relatively few colleges in the United States that offer any kind of rigorous graphology training. There are few opportunities to get academic credits in the topic from a recognized university. Because American universities do not regard graphology to be worthy of academic study, the general public in the United States has largely neglected the field.
Because there are no degree programs or certification criteria for graphologists in the United States, anyone can claim to be a “expert” without knowing what they’re doing. These self-proclaimed authorities have made numerous blatant oversimplifications, inconsistencies, and erroneous comments. As a result, graphology is frequently misunderstood as an arcane art form.
Despite the lack of official graphology education in the United States, over a thousand big U.S. corporations have sought qualified personnel and now employ graphology for hiring and crime-solving purposes. Graphology is now being used by a large number of small businesses and individuals.
We need to teach teachers the fundamentals of graphology once we’ve gotten schools to place a greater focus on handwriting. A rudimentary understanding of education could help solve many issues and potentially save lives.
Test for Handedness
In the United States, most elementary school instructors are unaware that a simple test for handedness exists. Instead, the usual instructor places the pencil in the right hand of every child, despite the fact that only about 10% to 20% of the students should be writing with their left hands.
Place candy or a colorful toy in the middle of the table, just out of reach of the child. Which hand does the child use to obtain the desired object? Request that a child throw and kick a ball. Inquire if he wants to eat. Request that he pick up a pen. After a few repetitions, the youngster should be able to tell which hand he or she likes.
In rare cases, a youngster will continue to switch hands, indicating that the child is ambidextrous. In such cases, have the child choose which hand feels most comfortable for writing.
Spot Physical Problems
Teachers should be trained to spot specific forms of disability from hand-writing. Graphologists can often distinguish one type of learning disability from another and learning disorders from physical ailments, such as dyslexia from epilepsy, by looking at patterns that appear in a child’s handwriting. Learning-disabled youngsters are frequently improperly grouped together in “educationally handicapped” courses. We can get a youngster the correct help sooner if we know what his condition is early on.
Teachers should also be taught how to recognize visual and hearing impairments in students’ handwriting.
Spot Psychological Problems
Teachers can learn how to spot emotional issues in students’ handwriting. For example, a child whose writing suddenly becomes minuscule is retreating into his own small universe at the expense of reality. A child who has suddenly been unable to write without trembling or making several errors need professional assistance.
Teachers in junior and senior high schools should be able to identify a troubled pupil based on his handwriting. A significant alteration in a child’s handwriting is the most telling sign of drug or alcohol abuse. Drugs and alcohol have an instantaneous influence on handwriting, and teachers can be trained to notice this so the youngster can be helped at once.
These are just a few examples of how graphology can be beneficial in the classroom. However, graphology is a science that can tell us a lot more about ourselves and potentially help us change.
Graphology belongs first and principally in the subject of psychology, as its application suggests. Why is psychiatry preferred over psychology? Psychology is concerned with an individual’s emotional and cognitive qualities, whereas psychiatry is concerned with their physical well-being. As a result, in addition to a Ph.D., a psychiatrist must have a medical degree. As a result, graphology is related to psychiatry since it is concerned with the same three issues: an individual’s physical, intellectual, and emotional states.
Graphology will only be able to take its appropriate place as a serious subject of study and a part of our everyday lives if it adheres to the rigorous requirements of formal science. Not only should there be degree programs in graphology, but there should also be standards and testing procedures in place to distinguish the amateurs from the pros. Standards and processes for establishing what constitutes competence in this subject should be created by committees of recognized and established graphological experts.
These strategies would result in the use of graphology in regions where it is now underutilized—at a high expense. For example, many professional examiners of questioned documents go out of their way to distance themselves from handwriting experts so that their scientific skill is not questioned. However, they could perform a better job if they knew more about graphology.
Because they are unaware of the effects of aging, medicine, and drugs on handwriting, document examiners will label a signature inauthentic while it is legitimate. Many document examiners are unable to tell whether a writer was unwell or inebriated when he penned his name, or if he had aged thirty years between the comparative samples. As a result, several signatures and handwriting samples are mistakenly considered inauthentic due to their dissimilar appearance.
As a result, these document examiners’ abilities are limited by their lack of expertise of graphology. If they recognized how insanity, mental breakdowns, alcoholism or drug addiction, Parkinson’s disease, old age, and other illnesses impact handwriting, they would be better examiners of questioned papers.
The only reasonable explanation for why so many people continue to dismiss graphology is because they are just unaware of it. No sane individual who observes the relationship between graphic movement and personality could argue that it is any less deserving of academic study than body language, psychology, or Pavlovian theory. I hope the articles on this site have persuaded you that graphology is a legitimate discipline with a wide range of applications in society. It would be fantastic if the public demanded that this subject be taught in our schools, that it be deemed worthy of academic investigation, and that it be recognized as a legitimate field of study once and for all.