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Does the handwriting analysis of a person predict only his/her behavior or only his/her character or both?

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  • $\begingroup$ on what basis you want your answer $\endgroup$
    – Amruth A
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 12:01

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The professional term for hand-writing analysis seems to be "Graphology" and there is no clear evidence that it could be used to predict a person's behaviour or character. For a starting point see the wikipedia page, then there are this article in the New York Times from 1993 and this more recent article from BBC from 2005 for more casual explanations of the phenomenon.

For more scientific references there is this paper from 1983 and this one from 1987 that both fail to show significant results. Also this book chapter might give a good overview but I can only tell from the abstract and you would have to find it at a library or purchase it somehow.

References

  • Rafaeli, A., & Klimoski, R. J. (1983). Predicting sales success through handwriting analysis: An evaluation of the effects of training and handwriting sample content. Journal of Applied Psychology, 68(2), 212.
  • Beyerstein, B. L. (2007). Graphology—a total write-off. Tall Tales about the Mind & Brain: Separating Fact from Fiction, 233-70.
  • Furnham, A., & Gunter, B. (1987). Graphology and personality: Another failure to validate graphological analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 8(3), 433-435.
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Handwriting analysis can, arguably, provide information on personal qualities (Klimoski & Rafaeli, 1983). I.e., handwriting analysis may tell you something about the character of a person. In turn, character affects behavior.

Reference
- Klimoski & Rafaeli, Journal of Occupational Psychology (1983), 56(3): 191-202

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  • $\begingroup$ The first link is in my opinion not a reliable source and the reference does not support the claim that "handwriting analysis provides information on personal qualities". They actually find a lot of methodological weaknesses in former studies and conclude in their summary: "Many other examples of weaknesses of methodology have been cited throughout the paper. However, when researchers are more rigorous in these areas (e.g. Rafaeli & Klimoski, 1983) the results have not been supportive of the usefulness of inferences based on script. " $\endgroup$
    – awakenting
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ @awakenting Do the words 'arguably' and 'may' in the answer not capture all of your critiques? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, I have to apologize, I'm not a native speaker and though of "arguably" rather meaning something like "it can be argued that". But given that, I think that the state of research clearly rejects the hypothesis that hand-writing analysis could tell you anything about a person's behaviour or character and your answer does not deliver that message. When you say it "may tell you something about the character", where is the evidence for that? $\endgroup$
    – awakenting
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 14:26
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In truth, the amount of features in a person’s handwriting that vary over such a period of time is disproportionately small and predictable to a trained analyst. You’ll learn to recognize and contextualize characteristics such transient irritation, anxiousness, or emotional reaction to words or concepts in the text.

In actuality, the shifting elements in handwriting only represent a minor proportion of the entire. The underlying characteristics of a human never change, and only the character of the individual changes. Interesting hypnosis experiments have backed up this assertion. When a hypnotized person is instructed to assume a different persona, the qualities of his handwriting alter almost instantly. If he is asked to be an emperor, he will write with all the pomp and majesty that he believes is characteristic of a ruler’s handwriting. If he is asked to write as a child, he will do so with the clumsy effort of an infant scribe.

Reference: https://graphology.scry3d.com/frequently-asked-questions-about-handwriting-analysis/

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    $\begingroup$ The reference seems to be non-scientific and the source seems to be acting on commercial grounds. Can you add scientific resources instead to back up your claims? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 13:51

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