Handwriting

By Tamara Tatevosian, Class of 2011

Writing reflects in graphological patterns what is in your brain. It can give away some of your characteristics as it was noted in an article concerning individuality of handwriting that “using global attributes of handwriting and very few characters in the writing, the ability to determine the writer with a high degree of self-confidence was established” (1). If inspected closely and as this article will tell you: even your gender can be established.

Did you know that if you try to change your usual writing habits, the only thing changed is its pictorial appearance? There was a book written by a forensic psychologist about how the style of handwriting will be the same no matter which hand or even foot, or mouth is used to write since handwriting, according to him, is “centrally organized by the brain and not the appendage”(5).
This practice is conventional in criminology and with the development of technology in some researches computer algorithms are used for extracting features from scanned images of handwriting.
In some studies, gender could be determined by features such as carefulness, neatness, speed. The accuracy was significantly better than chance when trying to distinguish gender. Investigators, in a study, revealed that tidiness for women was significantly higher than for men. And cross cultural studies showed that the influence of gender on handwriting exists in other languages too.

1) Srihari SN, cha SH, Arora H, Lee S. Individuality of handwriting. J Forensic Sci. 2002 Jul;47(4):856-72
2) Hamid S, Lowenthal KM. Inferring gender from handwriting in Urdu and English. J Soc Psychol. 1996 Dec;136(6):778-82
3) Hayes WN. Psychology Department, Albion College, MI 49224, USA.
4) Sappington J, Money M. Sex, gender role, attribution of pathology, and handwriting tidiness. Department of Psychology, Augusta State University, GA 30904-2200, USA
5) (1895) Preyer, W. On the Physiology of Handwriting. Hamburg.

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