Monday, April 19, 2010

What Does Your Handwriting Say About You?

Graphology is the "science" of analyzing a person's handwriting to determine their individual personality characteristics. Apparently, graphologists can pick out traits like loneliness, confidence, and a desire to be isolated from people. What came as a surprise to me, however, was the fact that legitimate businesses use graphology in screening potential employees. This cannot be a bogus practice if big companies like Bank of America, Dow Chemical, and UPS use it as a selection method in interviewing applicants, right? (Lawson 253). Timothy Lawson's book "Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal" claims graphology is unreliable, so I figured I would check out one of the websites that does a loose analysis on your own handwriting, and see what all of the positive and negative hype was about.
The website asked me questions like which way does my handwriting slant, how similar is my signature to my printed name, and whether my letters are rounded or angular. After studying handwriting from class notes I had taken earlier that morning, I submitted my answers, and the analysis I got back was pretty detailed for a free sample study. Detail does not necessarily entail accuracy, however.
My Mini-HW report told me that I am at a place in my life where I wouldn't mind making myself a little more publicly seen, although I do not think I am ready for the "Grand Stage" yet. It also tells me I probably like to do things my way from time to time. Okay, my response is: who doesn't? Then my "graphologist" tries telling me that I am a little depressed, and find it hard to get a move on in social situations. This is not the case at all. I even asked some of my closest friends just in case I'm unable to admit the truth to myself, but they all agreed with me. What else is not the case is the claim that I am nurturing, somewhat of a sentimentalist, I do not jump to conclusions, and I am a quiet person. False, false, false! My favorite part of the analysis is when my report says, "Do you ever hear people define Jennifer as a Lone Ranger? [note: no, I do not] Or is that you're more of what some might define as a 'creative force of the next generation!'" Well, is it not your job to be telling me that? Then the report starts trying to tell me my zodiac sign! I'm either affected by a sun sign, or have Cancer prominent in my astrological chart, or a water sign at the top of my chart.
This analysis does sound more like a horoscope to me. And in all honesty, it is just as vague and untrue. Of course, the graphology website does try to cover their own behind by telling me that this report only looks at a small percentage of the FOUR HUNDRED things a professional graphologist looks at. According to the website, and I quote, it is not easy to "program the fineries of an analyst's eagle eye and brain, so this is a start." I'm sorry, graphologists of the world, if you did this terribly just starting, I believe the rest of my handwriting study would be an absolute joke.


  1. I had my handwriting analyzed once. It was kinda fun, but actually she was pretty accurate. Thinking back on it now though, I think I was unintentionally giving her a lot of cues before her interpretation. Her descriptions were pretty vague too, sounds exactly like a horoscope. I don't know, I think there might be a small grain of truth in this, but not enough to describe someone's entire personality.

  2. Haha, I did the same test and got the same result!