Graphology: Inspecting Handwriting
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Graphology: Inspecting Handwriting

In graphology, a specialist examines a full-page ink handwriting, or specimen, to reveal the subject's behavior. The graphologist, however, must have the subject's age, sex, and nationality before conducting the test.

Graphology is the study and analysis of one's handwriting. Theoretically, it can be used to assess one's personality or psychological disposition.

In contrast, graphology is entirely different from a type of handwriting analysis used to determine authenticity in legal documents (forensic document examination).

In graphology, a specialist examines a full-page ink handwriting, or specimen, to reveal the subject's behavior.

The graphologist, however, must have the subject's age, sex, and nationality before conducting the test.

Handwriting is usually composed of about 20 elements:

  • degree and direction of slant (or curve)
  • breadth and height of letters
  • space between lines
  • letters
  • words


In a nutshell, people mix these elements spontaneously to create their own unique style of writing.

Here are some basic assertions that relates writing to neurological functions:

  • Ego: It may or may not be active every time we write, but it does affect the way we write, especially when an effort is being made.
  • Difficulty: Depending on our physical condition (materials, location, situation) while writing, we tend to use simpler handwriting.
  • Writing is the result of coördinated muscle movements, which is controlled by the central nervous system. Neurophysiological mechanisms also contribute to a our writing.

Writing is affected by neurological factors, hence if we reverse that, we can extract a person's mental tendencies.


Being left-handed is just a product of growing up, learning approaches, learning environment, and lots of other things. But people do ask if being left-handed can mean something.

Will graphology vary if the subject is left-handed or right-handed?

Actually, no. It is our brain that controls all muscular functions. Even if you write using your left hand, your right hand, your mouth, or your toes, it will still be your brain controlling it.

Left-handed writing is fine. But it would look quite silly if you were to use toe-writing as a graphology specimen.


Here is a vague question from the forum. The asker goes:

"My handwriting curves to the left, why?"

There's nothing wrong with left-slanted writing. It is mostly just style preference, so why bother? Why someone would develop this style, though, depends on a lot of things.

It could be because of your position while writing; how you hold your pen; how you learned to write; how fast you write; which type of script you prefer; or the elegance of your script. Combine all of that, plus a few years of getting used to—that's how someone develops a unique handwriting.

It doesn't imply problematic handwriting, as long as it is readable. Although, trying to change your handwriting for no significant reason could be a problem. 

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Comments (8)

Interesting answer Marc - not sure if I agree with your answer, because the query was "My handwriting curves to the left, why?" - he seems to be asking about himself, and not a dissertation about handwriting. But PLEASE do not be offended by my stance - it is just what we need in handwriting analysis.....more debate, and then more people will sit up and take notice as to its powerful validity and efficacy.

interesting although many people don't use paper and pen anymore

I used to have a beautiful flowing penmanship, -but since having broken my right arm at the elbow some 8+ years ago it is somewhat of a challenge for me to just write a thank you note or sign my name legibly. Ergo my point: how much has my personality 'changed' since having broken my arm? Probably none, but my penmanship has greatly degraded.. I won't leave personality assignment up to a graphologist entirely but I would welcome a reading of a sample of my handwriting.. I find their conclusions to be surprisingly accurate.. Myself, I hold Graphology in the same benign contempt vis analyzing the shape of human skulls as a predictor of violence and marker for the propensity of a life of crime.. something that was in the era of Sherlock Holmes considered to be highly accurate & scientific, a 'science' that has long gone the way of the dodo birds. ;-) Greta article in response to the question for a topic of interest.

The interesting part about your broken arm, and the "deterioration" of your WRITING, is that although people have lost an arm, or both arms, and then resort to using their toes or mouth, the SAME recognizable characteristics are still there. Benign contempt? :-) - surely phrenology went out with the Dodos in the Seychelles...or was it Timbuktu :-).........Observations and misconceptions about the the subject and analysis of HW are as prolific as those who have never taken years and sweat, to study it's ramifications. There are a wealth of papers, and indeed scientific papers showing its efficacy. Indeed, if you wish to satisfy your curiosity, I have given abundant evidence here: - but still, the debate will rage on, and that is good, because ONE DAY the penny AMY drop. :-)

Oops - "MAY" drop - hands and brain not in gear.....but then handwriting is not brainwriting....or is it?

Great article! Very informative.

Great discussion.

A very well researched article! Have a look on my article "How to Improve My Handwriting".