Handwriting and graphology

I’m British, and I think I’m fairly good about identifying the handwriting of mainstream Americans. Or at least, Anglo-Saxon Americans - and most of my girlfriends (and many, many adult friends) have been American, for some reason. There are definite characteristics to the cursiveness, the letters, the style, that is unmistakeable.

Now, if this is true, what does it say? For me, it indicates they have had a fairly similar schooling, a common thread of instruction and training - and ‘pressure’. I use that word advisedly. Education means ‘drawing out’, but it also indicates a putting-in, a pressure to conform or follow the instructions. After all, if you are told to do something, what is that but pressure?

If this is true, and if it’s true that ‘give me a child until he’s 7, and he’s mine for life’ as the Jesuits say, it seems to me that graphology makes sense. If I can tell their culture and education from their handwriting, there’s a likelihood I can tell their general background, and even their political views. (e.g. “XYZ-style handwriting means they are on balance likely to approve of their government’s politics” - that’s common sense, in a democracy)

The converse is Graphotherapy, and I think Cecil should touch on it. Graphotheraphy is the theory that if there is a personal characteristic that shows in handwriting (i.e. graphology), there’s an interesting corollary: What if you can change your handwriting: Would you then be a different person?

Graphotheraphy holds out that tantalising prospect. And it makes sense to me. If I can buck the years and anguish of the bastard handwriting teachers who beat my character into me, then with any luck I can outwit my education - and the teachers and parents who made me what I don’t want to be!

Links to the articles referred:
Handwriting Analyis Revisited: Are elements of personality revealed through handwriting?
Is handwriting analysis legit science?

One particular method, “Palmer”, was used in nearly all US schools for a long time. A pity, because it teaches an almost impossible handwriting, designed not for everyday writing and pens, but for caligraphic plate etching. There’s been some scattered resistance to it since the 70’s, but there are still places where being anti-Palmer can be nearly as dangerous as teaching Darwin, or suggesting that Jesus didn’t speak Jacobean English.

Heard some years ago that many French business required a handwriting sample for analysis during the job application process. Anyone know if this is true and current?

aadenny, you need this book: The Write Stuff, by Beyerstein/Beyerstein. Available in many libraries. Graphotherapy is covered, and there is no evidence that it is anything other than wishful thinking.

ggcourt, in the initial column “Is handwriting analysis legit science?”, Cecil clearly comments:

Yup, as of today, 05/11/2003 some (not all) French companies require handwritten letters for hiring evaluation. A few even state " please email resume and handwritten letter"; you are therefore supposed to hand-write, scan and attach the result to an email.