Graphology rubbish – no better than astrology or numerology

Worse than a lie detector test, and no better than a psychic reading, graphology is still used in France.

BBC News – A French love affair… with graphology.

What would you do if you went for a job, and the HR person said one of the criteria for selection was a favourable analysis of your handwriting?

In most of the world, the use of graphology in recruitment is marginal. But in France – despite an appreciable decline of writing in recent years thanks to computers – the technique is proving remarkably resilient.

It is said that the study of handwriting reveals personality traits. The analysis is “complex” and not based on science but involves looking at the “size of letters, angles, slopes, shapes, links, spaces, order, pen pressure and variance from educational norm.”

Educational norm? What is that? People are har-pressed to be good at handwriting these days. It’s nice to know if your applicant has legible writing but there is no evidence that it reliably reveals anything important about you.

Neurological blog has a response to this. It’s worth a read in it’s entirety after viewing the BBC piece (which does at least contain some skeptical analysis).

Like iridology, palmistry, and astrology, there is a complex system of graphology that can take years to master. That in itself, however, does not say anything about the legitimacy of graphology. People are industrious and we are good at developing complex systems based on nothing at all, except our imagination. Complexity alone is not a sign of validity.

Graphology is no more legitimate than a psychic in a turban, but has maintained a superficial respectability that allows it to continue in the corporate world.

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  1 comment for “Graphology rubbish – no better than astrology or numerology

  1. May 2, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Graphology may be a load of nonsense, but neater handwriting could be an advantage in some jobs. The French may have a point.

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