The Study of Handwriting, Graphology

The word graphology is defined as follows: the study of handwriting, especially when regarded as an expression of the writer’s character, personality, abilities, etc.  “Graphology” originates from Greek: grapho = writing, and logy (logos) = the theory of writing.  We all learn to write the same way, but as the writing becomes automated, it changes to reflect individual style characteristics. Our handwriting becomes as unique to us as our fingerprints.

Why can Handwriting be Analysed?

In utero, through the process of gastrulation, the ectoderm of the fertilized egg develops into the outer components of the body – the skin, hair, mammary glands, and parts of the nervous system. A segment of the ectoderm folds inward forming an enclosed tube (the neural tube) down the dorsal midsection (middle towards the back) of the embryo. This process is called neurulation, which forms the central nervous system, brain, and face among other structures.

The skin on our palms and the cortex of the brain are developed from the same ectoderm of the fertilized egg. Therefore, all experiential changes in the brain due to learning and the emotional components of events, will be reflected in our hands also.

How Can Handwriting be Analysed?

We all use our hands when we speak. Speaking without hand gestures just feels flat to both the speaker and the observer. This intimate link between the hand and brain results in handwriting which intimately reflects the brain physically and emotionally. Handwriting is then by definition brainwriting, because hand gestures (including writing) are not arbitrary, but a reflection of the state of the brain in a given moment. Sheila Lowe, author and Graphologist, eloquently said: “Body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions tell a lot about someone, and handwriting is just one more piece of the puzzle. … When you pick up a pen and begin to write, everything that ever happened to you coalesces and travels down the nerves from your brain through your arm, into your hand and out onto the paper in the flow of ink from your pen.”

Psychologists from The New School for Social Research measured brainwaves using electroencephalography (EEG) scans and found that the neural circuits that control hand actions are associated with motivational neural circuits. This link makes sense especially when faced with a situation where we need to defend ourselves with either our fists or a weapon.  They also found that emotions are stored differently in the brain depending on which is the dominant hand – righthanders store these links in their left hemisphere and lefthanders in their right hemisphere due to the cross-lateralization of the brain.

This close relationship between the motor cortex, emotional structures of the brain, and the hands is why handwriting can be analyzed. Wikipedia says that a personality is “the characteristic set of behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors”. Those behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns are all reflected in the handwriting.

Why Can Handwriting Be Analysed

Can Other Forms of Writing be Analysed

This then poses the next question – whether foot-writing, mouth-writing, or non-dominant handwriting can be analyzed in case the dominant hand is disabled, and the answer is yes. Remember that the brain and the skin are developed from the ectoderm of the fertilized egg and that skin covers hands, feet, and lips. One caveat to consider is that only automated writing can be analyzed. Therefore, as soon as the writing becomes automatic, regardless of the appendage used, it will reflect the behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns of the writer.

Once handwriting becomes automated, it is stored in the subconscious mind, as all automated programs are – riding a bicycle, driving a car, knitting, habits, behaviours, etc. Architects learn to print in a very specific way and calligraphers learn to make curly cues, hard, and soft strokes very consciously and with precision. This conscious writing cannot be analyzed, only automated strokes projected from the subconscious mind and the autonomic nervous system. Past traumas, hurts, fears, needs, beliefs, are all embedded in the meta-programs that are run by the subconscious mind, and are expressed outwardly as our personality and in our handwriting. When identifying a forgery, document examiners are trained to look for automated micro-movements within the handwriting which are near impossible to change. Bart Baggett from Handwriting University International stated that, “Our signatures and handwriting styles are so statistically unique that a computer can tell the author of a handwriting sample 97% of the time. A forensic document examiner with proper training can fare even better.”

Are you ready to get to know yourself and understand why your loved ones do what they do? Graphology can offer you the insights and understanding that you are searching for.

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