6 Common Concerns About Handwriting Analysis: The Truth Revealed
Handwriting analysis is the scientific investigation of handwriting to determine personality characteristics.
Although handwriting analysis is gaining in popularity, many misconceptions exist about this complex form of personality analysis.
Below we address six common concerns about handwriting analysis:
"If behavioral scientists had found it to be a valid tool, then they would have done so by now and it would be commonly used."
Human behavioral studies involving handwriting analysis exist and it has been found to be a valid tool. More than 200 scientific papers have been published in non-graphological peer-reviewed publications in the last 58 years.
Also, handwriting analysis is already commonly used in the workplace (and elsewhere) at this time, although it is more popular in Europe than it is in America.
"As a candidate for a job, I want to be considered due to my experience and talent, not the results of some examination of my signature."
Your signature (and how it relates to the rest of your script) is only part of what is analyzed. At least a half page handwriting sample is best to properly analyze handwriting.
We and other respected professionals advise employers to hire based on a person's experience, talent, and the results of personality testing methods, which indicate whether someone has the mindset for a particular job. We recommend the use of a range of evaluations (e.g., graphology in conjunction with other psychological testing methods), in addition to the interview to determine a person's fit for the demands of any particular job.
As we say on our handwriting sample forms, "Decisions will not be made based only on the results of the graphological analysis, but in conjunction with the interview process, decision-maker observations, and other information."
"What if 10 different handwriting analysts interpret a person's script 10 different ways? Isn't there a problem with interpretation?"
We recommend employers hire well-trained graphologists, such as those who have earned certification from a respected handwriting analysis school. In doing so, the problem of varying interpretations is eliminated.
"How does a person's handwriting tell you ‘this person can or can't do the job?' This does not seem like a reasonable tool to help make hiring decisions."
First, through the complex coordination of physical body, the nervous system, and mind function, you express yourself in your writing like no one else. Handwriting is called an expression of your true self because it has been shown to directly link to subconscious character, the real personality behind the public persona. It's really mind-writing and it's as unique as your fingerprints. Even twins have different fingerprints and they also have different handwriting, sometimes drastically different, if you delve into the hundreds of indicators used for a comprehensive analysis.
Handwriting analysis doesn't directly predict the success of a job applicant. However, it does provide information about whether or not the applicant is a match for the job based on the job description. Motivations (e.g., social involvement, recognition, m.oney, etc.), intellect, work habits, communication skills, and emotional foundation are some common areas of assessment.
There are many personality traits that aren't easy to measure by talking to an applicant, reviewing their resume, and having them take standard personality evaluations. Handwriting analysis is so valuable because it assesses subconscious character, the actual personality, aside from the one presented or witnessed when an individual is at their best. It goes beyond evaluating an applicant just for the job tasks.
Handwriting analysis is particularly useful in determining specific personality traits needed for a job, such as consistency, flexibility, sincerity, emotional maturity, ability to make distinctions, decision-making ability, analytical ability, problem solving ability, ability to cope with stress, objectivity, and much more.
"What if handwriting analysis exposes a questionable personality dynamic that you wouldn't see demonstrated on the job, that is totally unrelated to the position? I'd be concerned that this is an invasion of my privacy."
Established legal precedents exist in relation to handwriting analysis. One U.S. court ruled that your script is "behavior in public" and that using it as the foundation of personality evaluation can't be viewed as an invasion of privacy. U.S. vs. Hazelwood School District 534 F 2nd 805 states that graphology is "not precluded in hiring if it is related to the job." Invasion of privacy hinges on the expectation of privacy, which vanishes when you fill out a job application in your handwriting and acknowledge that the employer will read it. Also, employers understand (e.g., through performance agreements, such as the one we use) that only the employer's decision-makers (i.e., your interviewer, etc.), those supervisory personnel who have a "need to know," are entitled to see the results of the analysis. The contents of each profile is kept confidential, as per the client-analyst agreement.
Besides, no ethical handwriting analyst would tell your prospective employer about your possible early-life s.exual abuse, for example, because it's not directly related to the job. It's the responsibility of the graphologist to focus exclusively on personality traits required for optimum job performance, i.e., identify personality strengths and challenges related to the job position.
"The majority of adults entering the workforce today can't even write. It's becoming an obsolete skill due to computers."
Although people aren't writing as much as they used to due to computers, we believe almost everyone can still write, even those who just graduated from high school. Even if they use only printing and not cursive, their script can still be analyzed. It's very doubtful the ability to write will become totally obsolete.
We recommend handwriting analysis as one of the most effective forms of personality analysis in existence.
Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo
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