Handwriting speaks a thousand words! Myth v/s Fact ?

I know you already, I read your handwriting.

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Before we understand what handwriting analysis is about and how it is done, I want all the readers to take a moment and ask themselves if they remember trying to write an exam super-neat and tidy in the hope of getting extra marks for good handwriting?

We can’t see each other right now but I know you are smirking. Don’t worry, I’ve done that too. So much for wishful thinking!

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An individual’s handwriting, like their fingerprints or deoxyribonucleic acid (that’s just DNA!) is unique. Thus, God most certainly kept in mind the perks of individuality and gave us all our own exclusive hand-script. Graphology, a term devoted to the study of handwriting is acknowledged as a pseudoscience though not a definite full-proven one. The reason behind this is the lack of concrete evidence to suggest a relationship between handwriting and an individual’s personality traits.

A question that arises here is that why does handwriting differ when all toddlers are more often than not, given the same textbooks to learn from. It isn’t surprising to believe that the cursive letter looks the same in all parts of the world! Hence, the scientific explanation for this is the difference in the response time and motor impulses in our brain. Depending on the average grip and movement of our hands while tracing those letters in the book, our brain becomes accustomed to writing in a certain manner and voila! The handwriting differs in terms of size of letters, spacing, pressure, consistency and slant. But wait, does that imply that if you wrote beautifully as a kid you are bound to be well organized as an adult ?

I unapologetically burst your bubble now !

Prior to the 20th century, graphology was popularized as a fascinating art of reading a person’s characteristic traits by means of how they wrote their journal but eventually, researchers rejected the validity of graphology to assess personality. Studies such as Ben-Shaker, Blum, Ben-Abba are notable works that give evidence against its predictability.  They suggest that the apparent results from such analysis are immensely vague and commonly applicable such as , ‘rebellious teenager’, ‘not very punctual’, ‘emotionally vulnerable with closed ones’ etc. Going a step further, research shows that the personality traits highlighted by handwriting analysis do not match the test result of the well acclaimed Myers-Briggs test or Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. There also remains the possibility of deception. To further elaborate, it is not important that somebody with an untidy handwriting is bound to be disorganized or impulsive, as is commonly believed by handwriting analysts.

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Do you really think that all doctors are impulsive or ill-managed because they have bad handwriting? ^.^

However, in a world of skeptics we will always have optimists too. So despite the criticism of the legitimacy of handwriting analysis there still exists the ‘bias’. Human tendency has led to the use of handwriting analysis as an additional tool, if not the primary reliable source in matters of legal conflicts and job applications. Forensic sciences look for differences in the real v/s unknown texts as a part of investigation and the HR department tries to gauge general candidate suitability by means of graphology.  And then we all know there are books being sold because they are being bought by people who do believe in the power of handwriting reading!

(Watch a TED talk on the same www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWmafBBMHSk )

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To bring an end to the article, here is a small list of pointers you might use if you want to test the logic behind handwriting analysis.

  • Size: Large letters define you as an outgoing, people oriented and attention lover; Small letters are quite the opposite i.e. shy, meticulous and concentrated. Average letter size signifies a well adjusted and adaptable person.
  • Spacing between words: Wide spacing calls for adequate freedom and you prefer enjoying your own space while narrow spacing implies that you cant stay alone an tend to be intrusive.
  • Dotting your I’s: High dots= imaginative personality while a circled dot symbolizes a visionary. Dots to the left mark procrastination and the ones to the right show attention to detail and empathy.
  • Crossing your t’s: The higher the cross the more likely are you to be ambitious and focused. Longer crosses show enthusiasm and determination while shorter crosses call for lack of grit and laziness.p5

Although ambiguity looms around the authenticity of this science, it doesn’t hurt to think of it as a fun game or maybe use it as an excuse to make our notebooks look prettier. Didn’t we just confess to slyly hoping for extra-marks for good handwriting?

 

 

Picture Credits- Google images
By Pratishtha Khattar

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