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Handwriting Analysis

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Your handwriting says a lot about you -- or at least, graphologists think so. Graphologists are handwriting analysts, people who examine a person's handwriting to find clues about how this person thinks or behaves.

Graphology has been around for centuries. In fact, the philosopher Aristotle was a believer in the idea that handwriting is a window into a person's mind. Nowadays, graphologists use the research of psychologists and scientists who have dedicated their careers to creating guides for handwriting and personality traits.

But how does graphology work? Basically, handwriting analysts look at the basic elements of an individual's handwriting and refer to the guides to see what they mean. According to Adrienne de Burgos, a graphology enthusiast from Quebec, these are the main clues of handwriting analysis:

Margins:   The size and consistency of the margin the writer leaves on a page gives the analyst a good overall indication of what the person is like. For example, a wide margin on both sides of the page suggests a person who tends to be extravagant -- and not very practical.

Size:   The size of the handwriting is also a good overall clue into the writer's personality. For instance, people with very small handwriting tend to be shy and very practical, while people with huge handwriting are usually outgoing and enthusiastic.

Spacing:   Spacing between lines is a clue to clear thinking and generosity. Graphologists believe people who cram their lines and letters together, so that one line touches another, tend to be muddled in their thinking and stingy with their money.

Baseline Slant:   Graphologists don't use lined paper when they ask someone to give them a writing sample. They do this because they want to see how the person's handwriting lines would naturally slope. The slope of writing is a big clue as to the writer's emotions. For example, lines that are sloped upward indicate a cheerful, very optimistic person and straight lines indicate a very even-tempered, reliable person.

Letter Slope:   The angle of a person's letters tells the graphologist a great deal about the writer's approach to life. For instance ruler straight, up-and-down letters indicate someone who thinks with their head instead of their heart, whereas very slanted writing is a sure clue that an individual is very sensitive and easily hurt.

"These are just a few of the traits graphologists look for. There are thousands of clues and one either has to have a reference book handy at all times or have an excellent memory," says de Burgos.

Andrew Hunt, a graphologist from Cambridge, England, agrees with de Burgos, but points out that most people are surprised by how quickly they can pick up this hobby.

"You have to have an eye for detail and strong common sense about people, but if you have these skills and a basic graphology book, you'll be getting the analysis down pat in no time. After only a few months, I was getting 90 per cent of my analysis correct," says Hunt.

Other than the initial cost of a few graphology books, this hobby is very inexpensive. "Some paper, a flat surface and a ballpoint pen, a subject to analyze -- and maybe a magnifying glass, if your vision isn't very good -- are all you need," says Peter Pawinski, a graphology enthusiast from Chicago.

While no one can say exactly how many people take part in this hobby, impressing their family and friends with the handwriting analysis tools they learn from books, it's safe to say graphology is a popular hobby across the globe. The International Graphology Society currently has over 20,000 members!

Graphology is not just popular among hobbyists, however. Many people have turned an interest in graphology into full-time careers. In fact, a recent survey shows that 80 per cent of the human resources offices in France use graphology when hiring a new employee.

Graphology experts are also utilized in the justice system, where they are hired as consultants to prove the validity of signatures in the courtroom and work with police to analyze suspects' handwriting. Experts say graphology skills are an asset in any field related to the study of the human mind.

Graphology is a fascinating way to find out what truly makes people tick. People involved in this hobby say it's exciting to be able to see a short piece of writing and instantly have clues about the personality of the writer.

Getting Started

Some experts in this field have studied for years with registered graphology schools to master this skill. Unless you want to become a professional graphologist, however, a good book, some basic writing utensils and a willing subject are all you need to get started.

"Try to get all friends of friends -- people you don't know all that well -- to submit writing. Practice is the most important thing," says Hunt.

"Often what happens after you see a lot of writing is, you begin to get a sense for the person who wrote it without knowing specifically what graphological traits are involved. Essentially, you develop a feel for the character of writing," says de Burgos.

After you develop some basic graphology skills, you might have some questions your reference book doesn't answer. If so, there are a number of online resources.

Once you become more advanced at graphology, becoming a certified graphoanalysist may be your next step. Graphoanalysists are simply graphologists who have graduated from a registered graphology program. These courses are usually offered by correspondence and take anywhere from one to two years to complete.


American Society of Professional Graphologists
2025 Kings Hwy
Brooklyn , NY   11229

British Academy of Graphology

International Graphoanalysis Society
111 North Canal St.
Chicago , IL   60606


An Introduction to Graphology: A Systematic Course in Handwriting Analysis,
by  Ellen Cameron
Write and Reveal: Interpretation of Handwriting,
by  Paula Friedenhain
The Hidden Language of Your Handwriting,
by  James Greene and David Lewis


Graphology Club
Info on how to join, plus lots of Web resources

Handwriting Research Corporation
Info on computer programs designed for handwriting analysis

Handwriting Analysis
An online analyst

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