Graphologists claim that they can tell the difference between an honest, funny extrovert and a shy, creative workaholic, all by the signature. Although graphology has been deemed by many as a pseudoscience, it has gained in popularity and respect since its inception in the late 17th century. According to graphologists, handwriting and signatures are the result of the unplanned, reflexive movements of a person’s brain, so it’s nearly impossible to fool the trained eye of a graphologist.
Although most graphologists will say that a mere signature is not enough of a handwriting sample to do a complete analysis, at times, this is all that is needed to come to a general conclusion about the writer’s character traits. Companies and governments all over the world use handwriting analysis to screen potential employees. Analyzing a signature or handwriting sample can shed light on a person’s character and personality traits, providing a window into her mind.
Graphologists analyze several components of a signature or handwriting sample, including where the person writes on the page, how the letters or words are spaced, the slant of the writing, and how hard or soft the person presses on the pen. They also examine how the Ys are looped, how the Ts are crossed, and how the Ms are formed, among many other components. Handwriting analysis is used not only for job screening, but also for marital compatibility, jury screening, and psychological and medical diagnosis.
Graphologists claim that they can use a person’s signature or other handwriting sample to determine his honesty, communication abilities, work ethic, emotional stability, creativity, sense of humor, and self image. Social skills, including how shy or outgoing one is, as well as one’s ability to work independently or with a team, can also be determined. Sexuality is another trait graphologists claim they can determine, along with a person’s confidence and nervousness, tenacity, and goal setting abilities.
Of course, the analysis of a signature is open to much interpretation, and this subjectivity that many associate with graphology leaves any analysis up for debate. Many have raised questions about using handwriting analysis for job screening, because it may unfairly label a prospective employee before he even gets a chance to prove himself worthy for a position. Critics believe that the practice teeters on discrimination and that judging a person based solely on her signature is unfair.
For others, handwriting analysis is a fun way to gain insight into someone’s personality. Many celebrities, business tycoons, and political figures have had their signature analyzed by graphologists, and the results are surprisingly insightful. Because many of these people’s personality traits are already highly publicized, the real test is whether the analysis of an unknown person’s signature nets accurate results.