Handwriting Analysis


This topic contains 1 reply, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Karen Hardman 7 years ago.

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  • #7494

    Colin Dovey
    Participant

    Can anybody give a cogent argument as to why Handwriting Analysis should, or should not be used in South Africa…….for whatever end result?

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  • #7506

    Karen Hardman
    Participant

    Hi Colin,

    Graphology is said to be underpinned by scientific principals (as told to me by a Graphologist), however, a concern should be that it is not registered or regulated. Psychometric assessments which would give you the same or similar answers can be proven to be reliable through research and registration at the HPCSA. I prefer this route as I have a responsiblity to the candidate to give accurate information.

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  • #7505

    Colin Dovey
    Participant

    Thanks Karen for responding to the debate that I have opened on purpose by laying the bait in the water, so to speak. Contrary to what people think, and fail to research, is that there is an ABUNDANCE of VALID scientific, documented evidence, just a FEW of which you can see below. Anybody who wants the whole resource is welcome to visit my web site and download “Resource list of Scientific Studies concerning Handwriting Analysis”

    Small handwriting in some patients with anorexia nervosa Beumont, P. – British Journal of Psychiatry, 119, 349-350, 1971.
     Graphology and Its Importance in Current Medical Psychology Broern, W. – Medizinische Klinik, Hamburg, 66, 6, 1971.
    Can stress be measured by handwriting analysis ? Keinan, G. The effectiveness of the analytic method; discusses theoretical implications and possible advantages of
    using handwriting parameters as an indication of acute stress. Applied Psychology–An International Review–Psychologies Appliquee-Revue International: V0042 N2: APR 1993: pp. 153-170.
    Reliability and Validity of Handwriting Analysis compared to the standard battery of psychological tests and the ratings of therapists using the California Q-sort – a Doctoral Thesis, 1993. Kraus, Ron
    (various graphologists)
    Graphology: Towards a Hand-Picked Work Force Lynch, Brian – ; Personnel Management, Mar. 1985, v17n3, p. 14-18.
    Nevo, Baruch – National Institute of Testing & Evaluation, University of Haifa – Graphology Validation Studies in Israel: Summary of 15 years of Activity; International Association for Applied Psychology, Jerusalem, July, 1986.
    Schwarz, Daniel (graduate student) College of Criminal Justice, New York A validity study of graphology: Its usefulness in assessing integrity in identifying people prone to committing theft; Master’s
    Thesis, 1992.

    Handwriting Analysis (Graphology) is a degree course in Italy, Spain and Argentina. it is used successfully, as a matter of course in 78% of job application procedures across Europe, 30% in the USA (also for Jury Selection) 11% in the UK, and then also in Israel, India, Australia and New Zealand.

    I have it on good authority,(from HIGHLY QUALIFIED and experienced Psychologists in the HR field) and have personally seen it in practice in South Africa, that Psychometric testing can be fudged, and also, for example, people with a very good memory can twist Myers-Briggs Analyses to suit themselves. We worked on a parallel BLIND test for a large group of job candidates for a Major mining company, and the candidate eventually “selected” by a full battery of Psychometric tests lasting for a FULL DAY, and then that selected by a 30 minute test and then analysed by Handwriting Analysis procedures, showed this candidate as the WORST choice, and the one top of the Handwriting selection was eventually appointed. That person now successfully HEADS the department concerned.

    I find the attitude of the Psychometric Testing fraternity disturbing, as we SHOULD, in SA, be finding ways of identifying potential talent, CHEAPLY, instead of making selections by apparently elitist, and EXPENSIVE methodologies. It almost seems as though someone is protecting their very lucrative territory, and using “SCIENCE” as their smokescreen. The right approach should be to run the two in parallel, and then have a valid, universal check all the time. That, in my opinion, would be the open, honest way of achieving the BEST result for ALL parties concerned. It would be refreshing to see someone who is openly brave enough to do a field test. A lot of the blame can also be laid at the door of the recruitment companies. The process that is used, and the reference “checking” leave a LOT to be desired. That is probably because the recruiter is under HEAVY pressure with say, 50 applications, and he or she cannot peruse all 50, so just “scans” them. Handwriting can SORT the top ten out, reliably, cheaply and effectively. AND BY THE WAY KAREN – what you asked for – ACCURATELY!

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  • #7504

    Before you want to use handwriting analysis, one should firstly know that there is two different types of analysis. The first one that I am practising and have been a court qualified in for 20 years, is the forensic handwriting analysis, with its main purpose to identify the author of a spesific document and/or to determine forgery.  This is based on scientific facts, and is accepted in all courts and hearings through out South Africa, just like DNA and Fingerprints.  The second one is Graphology where you determine the personality, mindset and character of the author.  This is very subjective, has no scientific basis and according to me, should not be relied upon at all, just like polygraph tests.  I myself, stay far away from this field and don’t want to be associated with ist at all. I do collide in courts with graphologists who claim they are also experts in forensic handwriting analysis on a regular basis and it is evident from my experience that they have no clue on my subject and we prove them wrong constantly. For more info, contact me at 082 626 4300 or mail me at fdiludwig@gmail.com, or alternatively visit my website: http://www.fdiforensicdocumentinvestigations.yolasite.com

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  • #7503

    Colin Dovey
    Participant

    PLEASE NOTE – NONE of what i am going to say is meant to be personal or offensive – just to add to the debate, and i am glad at least somebody is commenting on this fascinating study: As much as you may counter the use of GRAPHOLOGY for personality etc, there IS ABUNDANT Scientific evidence – it is just that people do not seem to want to take the trouble to read the PUBLISHED papers. But then, “one convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.” Perhaps you are talking to the amateurs – the ones you constantly “prove” as being wrong. There are MANY GENUINE EXPERTS OUTSIDE of South Africa who will attest, and indeed show how it can be used, and I am personally not prepared to have my years of study in this field just trashed by one person’s opinion. So, it is just as well that you say “I don’t want to be associated with this field” – well that is your right. Speak to experts from the USA, such as Sheila Lowe, Heidi Harrelson, and MANY others. I use it DAILY, and my results with people are accurate outstanding, applicable and useful. But thanks for your opinion.

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  • #7502

    Hi Colin, i am sure that there must be at least some scientific basis for graphology, as all forensic handwriting experts know, that extrinsical factors like moods, use of alcohol, drugs, illness, mental illness etc, do effect your handwriting.  The problem i have is that how do they scientifically meassure the character trait characteristics.  The only way i know is to study for argument sake, the character traits in the handwriting of as many pedophiles as possible in order to determine similar identifyable characteristics that is common to the handwriting of only pedophiles.  This is therefore based on empherical data, and will be hard to prove.  It is not to say that a non-pedophile will not also create these characteristics in their handwriting.  In short, as far as I know, courts do not accept graphology evidence. However, I agree that it can possibly be useful and even possibly applicable in certain fields, I just believe that one should not solely judge, make or draw hasty conclusions only based on graphology conclusions, for it might influence a person’s life very negatively.

    Thank you

    Colin Dovey said:

    PLEASE NOTE – NONE of what i am going to say is meant to be personal or offensive – just to add to the debate, and i am glad at least somebody is commenting on this fascinating study: As much as you may counter the use of GRAPHOLOGY for personality etc, there IS ABUNDANT Scientific evidence – it is just that people do not seem to want to take the trouble to read the PUBLISHED papers. But then, “one convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.” Perhaps you are talking to the amateurs – the ones you constantly “prove” as being wrong. There are MANY GENUINE EXPERTS OUTSIDE of South Africa who will attest, and indeed show how it can be used, and I am personally not prepared to have my years of study in this field just trashed by one person’s opinion. So, it is just as well that you say “I don’t want to be associated with this field” – well that is your right. Speak to experts from the USA, such as Sheila Lowe, Heidi Harrelson, and MANY others. I use it DAILY, and my results with people are accurate outstanding, applicable and useful. But thanks for your opinion.
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  • #7501

    Colin Dovey
    Participant

    I agree – would like to meet up with you sometime for a cup of coffee – you sound like a sensible man!

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  • #7500

    interesting notion. There are organizations that use only handwriting as analysis for job selction. It is believed that the handwriting is the persons best epression. There are all sorts of interpretations, some more reasonable than others. I know that an informal little research we once did delivered interesting results. I took a couple of exam papers and guessed what mark the learner should have, based on how, how much and how the structured answers the where. Another examiner then actually marked the papers. To our surprise, my marking guess and hers, never differed more than 5%…

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  • #7499

    Hi Colin,

    I find this subject particularly fascinating and came across this article which i thought you might find interesting – Handwriting Analysis from a Psychodiagnostic point and not Forensic.

            “Every action we take can be analyzed at least from two different points of view: what we are doing (adaptation) and what we express (expression). These two facets are both highly important in order to understand personality.

     Handwriting clearly represents a product both of adaptation (use of conventional signs) and expression (personal elaboration of graphic shapes).

    Graphology’s subject of study in is handwriting seen as an expressive behavior; this method is based on a psychological rule saying that every unconscious or conscious psychic content must become manifest through some kind of expression: all expressive behavior forms are expression of the human being and his/her distinctive features.

     Handwriting, as well as all forms of expressive behavior, is highly consistent and does not change much in a lifetime. However, among all the expressive behaviors, it is the richest in informations about personality found till nowadays.

     The spontaneous graphic movement reveals all about an individual, seen through criteria based on the two pillars of graphological interpretation: analogy and symbolism.

    Given that graphology, according to its theoretical assumptions, aims to define individual personality by analyzing a spontaneous piece of writing, it is necessary to recall some issues – as they emerged in psychological research – related to the evaluation of this psychic well-structured reality, which is apparently insubstantial, but can be considered the source of deeply rooted behaviors.

    Graphology, being psychology applied to the study of personality, necessarily embraces all the issues related to the definition of the field of research, investigation methodology and theoretical assumptions on which research in individual differences based on: this, being aware that such a goal is highly challenging, as it aims to define the inner core whose development is deeply influenced by both the genetic heritage and the social environment the individual belongs to.

    This field of investigation is necessarily broad, requiring theoretical and experimental links to all specific research areas in psychological sciences, related to the individual and the trait organization that describes him/her. Not enough, such a picture is still more complicated, because a personality is a unique and irreplicable result, deriving from a range of previous variables whose respective importance is hardly appreciable, both if we identify them as “genes” according to heritage genetics or as “individual experiences” in terms of personal development.

    (taken from website articles by Dr Lidia Fogarolo, graphologist)

    regards Ulita

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  • #7498

    Arlene Walsh
    Participant

    This is, indeed, a fascinating subject, more so as I was appointed to an organisation in a senior position with the clincher being the report by the graphologist. Unfortunately the organisation concerned did not reveal the Directors’ results to potential staff. This may have alerted potential staff to very serious issues, behaviours and pathologies. The information gained regarding each staff member from the graphologist’s report was used in a highly manipulative manner, and, as you can imagine, very serious conflict resulted. (The graphologist concerned was specifically asked to indicate how staff members could be controlled and manipulated.)

     

    I therefore have mixed feelings about the misuse of this tool.

     

      

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  • #7497

    Hi Colin,

    It is good to see this debate being tabled, even though I am a bit late in responding to this matter. 

    Karen, as to your response: I have written my Masters Dissertation with specialization in Graphology, at the Rand Afrikaans University (know known as the University of Johannesburg).  I completed my course in Advanced Graphology at the Grafex Academy started by my mentor and good friend Silvana Grandin. Graphology is not recognized nor accredited in South Africa as such, because people believe it to be hocus pocus, similar to tarot readings, etc.  However, in Italy, Germany, America and Israel it is a recognized science, proven to be more effective and efficient in determining people’s career options, their compatibility with partners, etc.  It is even offered at doctorate level at the universities in those countries.  A person faced with the traditional psychometric tests (I also did my internship in Psychometry at the UJ) can and will quite often manipulate the tests to suit his or her needs.  This you cannot do with handwriting, because it is inherent in a person’s make-up and cannot be changed or manipulated.  Therefore, the psychometric tests are actually less reliable (see my dissertation) than the more ‘advanced’ AND scientifically proven graphology!  If you really want to supply accurate information and have a responsibility towards your candidates, then you should expand your field of assessment to include graphology!

    FYI: My mentor went to the SETA responsible for accrediting such a course but found that they were not willing to even look at her documentation proving graphology to be a science.  Therefore, the government can be said to be living in the dark ages.  Graphology is far more accurate and reliable than the ‘old, outdated psychometric tests’ still being used here in good ol’ SA.

    In general, you will find that people are scared of graphology because you cannot lie in your handwriting, whereas you can ‘lie’ on your psychometric tests. People are scared of the truth and would rather stick with the old way of doing things, rather than being forward-thinking wanting the best for the people they are hiring, placing, etc. If you are so narrow-minded to think that psychometric testing is the be-all and end-all – knock yourself out.  I however,will endeavour to make sure that graphology does find a bigger niche in SA.  I am also aware of the fact that one of the most ‘popular’ banks in SA uses graphology to hire their staff.  Give it a try and then let us know if you still disagree!

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  • #7496

    Hi Ludwig

    I am a graphologist and a forensic handwriting analyst.  They do go hand in hand because certain concepts such as the measurement of the slant of handwriting is shared in both sciences.  However, they tend to be measured for different reasons.  In your case, to determine if the slant was ‘made’ by the same person or if it is a forgery.  Whereas, in my case, you measure to determine the individual’s strength of character, the level of ambition, if they are more introverted or extroverted. By saying – “is very subjective, has no scientific basis” – are you telling me my master dissertation, graded and assessed by a Dr at RAU (the UJ now) is null and void??  Oh, heck, what am I going to do now???  It is very sad to see people being so narrow-minded and fast to ‘dish’ a scientifically proven SCIENCE – that more advanced countries, such as Germany, Italy, Israel, Argentina, etc. are quite happy in applying, offering at doctorate level, etc.  Oh well, go figure!

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  • #7495

    Dear Arlene

    Yes, the tool can be misused and abused, however, just like a blood test – the results are private and we stick to a code of conduct to never disclose information of clients (similar to that of the psychologist/psychiatrist).  Do you request that the Director tell you what his blood test results are? What if he is HIV +, would that not be of concern to potential staff??

    Therefore, it would be of great importance for a body to exist that could regulate the graphologists in this country – however, as I have stated before, the relevant SETA was not interested in even looking at the proof of this science. If I was hiring staff for a company that dealt in confidential information or pharmaceuticals, obviously, I would ask the graphologist how the staff members could be manipulated or controlled – because in South Africa bribery and corruption is so rife, you need to ensure that in certain instances the staff member has integrity and can be trusted.  Do you question the document you have to fill in that requests information regarding your criminal record, your qualifications being verified and your status at the credit bureau? (Should you then not also get that information regarding your Director?)  No, we all accept that as information necessary to hire a person for particular position – so why not do a graphological assessment to see if the person can be hired into a position of power and responsibility – to ascertain their ability to fulfill the requirements.  I think if more people, especially in higher position would be assessed graphologically, a lot of corruption and bribery would be weeded out and companies would begin to flourish.

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