Applying the Art of Graphology and Psychographology to Determine Personality Traits

As early as the 16th century the study of personality traits through penmanship has been cited however it wasn’t until the 20th century that this practice become commonly known as graphology. The study of graphology can be used to benefit relation

Graphology, or psychographology, refers to the study of an individual’s personality and character through the observation of their handwriting.  Although considered a pseudoscience, many experts have agreed that much of an individual’s personality can be described through a commonality of studied penmanship.  This has helped many professionals such as therapists, psychologists, and even criminal analysts understand when an individual may be experiencing depression, anxiety, or a serious form of mental instability.  This technique can also be very useful amongst individuals looking for a potential love match, managers searching for the most suitable employee to match specific job requirements, or for someone just looking for general personality types amongst certain people. 

The study of penmanship and how it may relate to an individual’s personality originated in the early 1800’s and soon began to catch much controversy by the end of the century.  However, earlier citations regarding the study of penmanship can be found dated as early as 1575 but was never widely published.  Regardless of the controversy, beginning in 1940 the United States began offering training courses and certifications of completion for 8 semesters of graphology classes as well as classes covering Forensic Document Analysis.  By 1970 individuals could obtain an accredited Associates Arts Degree in Graphology from the Felician College in New Jersey.  As of now training in the United States is offered through correspondence classes although the levels of instruction vary considerably. 

The amount of research that has accumulated over the last century has helped identify a general list of personality types when compared to specific patterns amongst all types of handwriting.  For example, depression can be identified in an individual’s penmanship if the handwriting appears to be small, light, and bunched together barely passing for legible.  Stress can be identified if the handwriting of the individual at that moment appears to be rushed, written with applied force, and doesn’t remain consistent with straight lines.  Absent mindedness can even be identified if the penmanship has additional markings amongst capitals, uneven breaks between words, and the writing itself veers off at an angle. 

Personality traits such as creativity can be identified by extravagant twists and loops amongst letters especially those such as a, o, g, and s.  Leadership, organization skills, and maturity can be identified if penmanship appears to be harmonious, consistent, and all punctuations have been thoroughly marked.  Feelings of love, compassion, and enlightenment can be identified if the handwriting of the time appears to be large, feministic, and punctuations are over marked e.g. hearts have been placed where periods should be. 

Although much of an individual’s personality can be identified by their penmanship it is not possible to rely on just one sample.  Feelings change dramatically throughout the course of a single day as well as while an individual may be writing.  In order to gain a legitimate idea of the general personality type of an individual many samples must be obtained, analyzed, and compared to one another to be able to differentiate between the different moods that person might have been in at the time of the writing.  Once this is done than a thorough understanding of an individual’s personality may begin to develop thus completing a lesson in graphology or psychographology. 


“Handwriting: Revelation of Self: A Source Book of Pyschographology.” By Charles D. Aring, MD


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