Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Being's that I am a criminal justice major I found high interest in the chapter of graphology. As most of you know the analysis of handwriting is quite relevant in the field. Whether it be examining documents, death threats, and so forth, they have issued many specialists to take on these tasks. An article I came across on the CIA page illustrates some of the basic problems with today's use of graphology. 

First it starts off with a line that captured my attention, "it acknowledges that traditional psychological assessment is preferable to handwriting analysis when direct access to the individual is possible". I love this! Think about it, as the video in the slides gave insight into a place of business which turned to handwriting analysis when interviewing new potential employees. For starters, is this even right? Should a business be allowed to base a pseudoscience belief on hiring employees? Just as this article starts off, I'm questioning why do some people turn to psychological beliefs when direct access and communication with an individual is available? 

As the article continues, it brings up issues discussed within the cognition chapters. Will you begin to relate broad statements to situations that CAN, not always, pertain to a given situation? It begins to talk about a study done in which students were given a survey in which they answered true and false questions about their selves, such as “do you have a tendency to be critical of yourself”. Once you have formed so many true answers, it’s hard to give such broad analysis that would NOT apply to people. Plus, just like stated when dealing with astrology, you must make broad claims. You must leave room so whatever the actual analysis or response is, it can be easily believed by the respondent. Look what happened within the study done with college students and Nostradamus, claims so broad people almost comfortably drew comparisons to his prophecies. So with graphology, isn’t this just basing broad claims on general writing habits in order to get a respondent to agree with a given analysis?

Lastly, the article begins to come to a close on the pros and cons. It states that graphology is an art, not a science. Early on in the book we note that a science can be reproduced.. can graphology really be produced and turn out to be 100% accurate every single time? Questions in my mind would be, couldn’t a person’s current state of mind possibly affect their writing style? And the article states that you cannot predict sex based on handwriting even though it is usually distinguishable. I personally feel as if graphology can be used as supporting factors in life, not as a basis of hiring, firing, guilty or not guilty (unless of course we can successfully match a forged check to a person’s handwriting). If we have direct access to an individual why try to literally “read between the lines?” It might not ALWAYS be accurate.


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