The psychology behind handwriting
Articles / Blog
08-26-15 Category: Mental Health

psychology behind handwriting

Graphology, the study of handwriting, is a practice with roots in psychology dating back to Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. As graphologist Andrea McNichol states, “[Jung and Freud] came to the conclusion that handwriting was a window to both the conscious and subconscious mind. I consider it as a constantly available EKG for the brain, because it immediately shows our evolving physical and mental state.” Today, graphology is often dismissed as a pseudoscience, but recent research indicates that much about an individual’s personality, mental and physical health can be gleaned from a simple handwriting sample.

A recent meta-analysis of data conducted by the National Pen Company in the United States suggests that approximately 5,000 separate personality traits can be determined through graphology analysis. For instance, researchers indicate that intelligence, emotional stability and morality are all detectable through handwriting. For this reason, many companies use graphologists to assess incoming employees, and their expertise is often called upon in legal matters. McNichol served in a case involving theft from a department store and was able to determine through handwritten employee accounts that one of the employees was lying about what time he left the store. He was innocent, but it was uncovered that he lied about the fact that he left work early because another manager’s orders. This same manager, who was later found guilty of committing the robbery, had relieved the employee of his shift after arriving hours earlier than scheduled.

The National Pen Company’s meta-analysis reports that mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, can also be determined through graphology analysis. The infographic published by the National Pen Company elaborates, “When the slant varies within a sentence or within the same word frequently, it is one form of evidence the person is not having continual contact with reality.” Additionally, this research found that individuals with hypertension typically vary their handwriting pressure from dark and heavy to light. Parkinson’s disease is also potentially detectable through graphology, as individuals with the condition have micrographia, the technical term for tiny, cramped handwriting.

McNichol notes that a form of graphology called graphoanalysis oversimplifies the practice and discredits the entire field by diagnosing serious mental and physical health conditions based solely on handwriting. Most graphologists use handwriting as a guide, not as definitive diagnostic material. Though it has been statistically proven to shed light on an individual’s personality and health, the practice is not highly respected. As McNichol explains, “Graphology is not taken very seriously in the United States, yet much of the rest of the world finds it an indispensable aid to discerning people’s personalities and motivations.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with schizophrenia or another mental health disorder, regardless of handwriting patterns, help is available. Sovereign Health Group specializes in treating individuals struggling with mental health disorders, substance abuse issues and dual diagnosis. Call 866-629-0442 to speak with a professional today.

Written by Courtney Howard, Sovereign Health Group writer

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