The careful analysis and study of handwriting is known as graphology, particularly when it relates to matters of the human psyche. Also referred to as “brain writing,” handwriting is said to be an expression of one’s entire personality, able to convey character and beliefs through the movements used to create words and letters in their written form.
Graphology is also used to hone in on specific personality traits, said to be an effective indicator of future behaviours and has also become a rather powerful tool for a variety of institutions, including businesses who are hiring, career planning and counselling centres, to name a few.
Graphology actually consists of three main systems, holistic, integrative, and symbolic. Holistic graphology creates a unique profile based on three criteria, form, movement, and space, while integrative graphology relies upon specific stroke formations to ascertain one’s personality traits. Finally, symbolic graphology analyses patterns of the symbols that are found within one’s handwriting.
Commonly, but erroneously referred to as Gestalt Graphology, which is a system of analysing handwriting that developed in Germany and relates to Gestalt psychology, holistic graphology takes an approach to handwriting analysis that looks at everything as a whole, with its meanings depending on the overall context of the words written.
This particular system utilises analysis tools known as trait stroke, fixed signs, Graphoanalysis, and the French System which convey personality traits by analysing stroke formations of the letters.
This system looks for either major or minor symbolism throughout handwriting samples, with the major portion dealing with the stroke as it relates to the page, and the minor also ascribing another meaning depending upon the unique picture or symbol seen within the writing.
The Pressure Used: It is said that the pressure one uses when writing exudes the intensity of their emotions, or also their stress levels with, obviously, the heaviest applications being indicative of the more intense emotions.
The Shape of Strokes: Handwriting that is square indicates practicality, whereas irregular strokes and squiggly lines convey a more relaxed, artistic view and approach to life. Handwriting that is circular in appearance is said to indicate an easygoing, agreeable nature, and in contrast, angular handwriting with sharp, jagged points may indicate aggressive behaviour, high levels of energy, and a direct, purposeful approach.
The Slant of Handwriting: Handwriting that slants forward indicates that one is rather emotionally expressive, and the opposite is true for those whose writing slants vertically, indicating a possible sense of withdrawal when it comes to emotions. Upward slants are said to mean optimism, while downward slants may indicate exhaustion or low energy levels.
Besides for medical and psychological purposes, the various applications where graphology are used are rather diverse and include:
Compatibility Issues: Usually done for couples who wish to test their true compatibility before marrying, graphology is used to ascertain whether or not the couple in question complement one another and can expect to enjoy a long lasting commitment. Even in cultures where arranged marriages are still a part of societal ways, graphology is used by elders in the community before giving consent as a sort of extra assurance that the individuals should indeed marry.
Human Relations: Graphology, along with an assembly of other similar tools, like a criminal background check, are thought to be useful as a method of facilitating the hiring process, giving companies a way to place prospective employees in positions better suited to them, or perhaps decide to not hire at all. However, using graphology as a part of the recruitment process has been greatly criticised in terms of both legal and ethical grounds.
Legal Matters: Graphologists are often called upon by those in the legal profession to examine and analyze handwriting samples of prospective jurors as well as those on trial in order to learn more about their personalities, giving counsel an edge in their case.