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the study of handwriting, esp to analyse the writer's character



the study of handwriting, the investigation of handwriting to discern the characteristics and psychic state of the writer reflected in it.

Handwriting is a type of expressive movement, with the special feature that it is “self-recording” and thus is always open to study. The view of handwriting as a distinct expression of a man goes back to antiquity (Theophrastus and others); the first experiments in graphology date from the period of the Renaissance (the work of the Italian scholar C. Baldo, 1622). As a special discipline, graphology arose in the second half of the 19th century in France (J. Michon, who introduced the term “graphology” in 1872; Crépieux-Jamin); handwriting was regarded at this time as a system of stable written traits each corresponding to a particular character trait. At the end of the 19th century the German school of graphology was formed (G. Meyer, W. Preyer and especially L. Klages); in opposition to the isolated interpretation of separate traits, the concept was developed of the double meaning and even multiple meaning of each separate written sign, the concrete meaning of which could be determined only on the level of analysis of handwriting as a “total form” (Klages). Along with other methods, such as tests, graphological data are used for the study in psychology, medicine, and criminal law of the individual characteristics of a person as a method of psychological and physiological diagnosis.

IU. N. POpov

Graphology in criminal law. The Italian scientist C. Lombroso thought that handwriting was an innate and invariable human function and that it allows one to distinguish the traits which characterize the “criminal type” (this concept became one of the bases of the anthropological school of criminal law).

While rejecting these ideas about handwriting as an innate function of the human organism, contemporary criminologists study the process of the formation of handwriting, which has a specific and habitual character, and also investigate the various correlations between handwriting and the personality of the writer—such as the difference between the handwriting of men and women and between that of children and old people, as well as the professional peculiarities of many elements of the written discourse of the writer.

A. I. VInberg


Michon. J. H. Système de graphologie. Paris, 1875
Klages. L. Handschrift und Charakter, 25th printing. Bonn, 1965.
Pulver, M. Symbolik der Handschrift, 6th printing. Zürich, 1955.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's nearly pointless to "quote" this for you here, because the blood's in the font; the point here is handwriting, the graphological portrait of the artist, and we encounter that before anything else for good reason.
We tested a selection of stylistic features where the form of the items varied from control items at a number of different linguistic levels: graphological, lexical, grammatical, sentence structure and paragraph formatting), as in Group A below.
The graphological precedence of the sound of the gun (being heard by the gang) over the shooting itself underlines the arbitrary nature of the action leading to the shooting, and the shooting itself.
However, even if some of these abilities were causally related to reading in some way, their influence on reading would be minimal at best and not nearly as powerful as the influence of the graphological abilities.
Apart from the special insight that a graphological analysis offers into the style of Achebe, we need to emphasize that a greater measure of his style is reflected both in his handling of lexemes and meaning and in his management of discourse within the two texts.
645), and a meta-analysis of graphological research yielded only 17 studies over a 25-year period that reported validity results, performance criteria, and sample sizes in a manner suitable for analysis (Neter & Ben-Shakhar, 1989).
The purpose for which it is desired is not to make a study of the handwriting to determine the mental attitude or character of the accused as bearing upon his guilt or innocence--as would be the case, let us say, if a pseudoscientific graphological (character reading) examination were made--but merely to observe whatever physical, habit-formed peculiarities may be present in a specimen which will serve as identification data.
Graphological variations in typesize and -face become excessive rhythmic devices reflecting the child's perception.
But Kerans, the former Oregon legislator, says giving that kind of credence to graphological analysis is just not fair.
According to membership records of graphological organizations, in the United States alone here are more than 20,000 certified graphologist.
Mors," like much of Biffures, tends towards a privileging of what Kristeva (83) calls the "genotexte," that is, the part of the text which is filled with the pre-Oedipal drives of the semiotic (19), manifested as phonological and graphological patterns.
19) Since the content of the piece concerns the inability of the traveler to find his way forward, there is a clear correspondence between graphological and semantic meaning on the manuscript page.