analysis of graphology
- It just dawned on me that Mr. De Armond, and perhaps
others, *may* not have caught the type of studies to
which the previous material I sent referred. Let me
make it clearer: these were NOT done by people
"pretending" to be a graphologist and looking at
people's handwriting, analyzing it as they thought a
graphologist might, and then comparing their results
The article I cited by Mr. Dean is a meta-analysis.
Sorry --even tho that was in the title of the article
by Dean I cited, that might not have registered with
some. In case you missed that, let me explain a bit
more. I am not a statistician, so please consult your
local one for more in-depth explanation. :-)
A meta-analysis is a collection of systematic
techniques used in examining research findings of a
group of studies. Meta-analysts translate results from
different studies to a common metric and statistically
explore relations between study characteristics and
There. I trust it's all clear now. :-) Uh-oh. I think
I see Bill with a bomb. Okay, okay, the main point is,
Mr. Dean was doing a statistical meta-analysis of
*existing* scientific studies on graphology, not
passing himself off as a graphologist and conducting
his own study.
The other studies I mentioned were those cited at
skepdic.dom (you can find further elaboration of those
but I'll just add a few words here to what was
mentioned before -- except for my inclusion of the
definition of "blind study," this is all taken
directly from the above-mentioned bccla site).
In those studies researchers conducted properly
controlled, blind studies (blind studies are those in
which the experimenter is unaware of which group is
subject to which procedure), where the handwriting
samples contain no content that could provide
non-graphological information upon which to base a
prediction (e.g., a piece copied from a magazine).They
found that *graphologists* (my emphasis) do no better
than chance at
predicting the personality traits (Rafaeli & Klimosky
, Ben-Shakhar , Karnes , Jansen
). There is also ample evidence (Karnes, 1988)
that a randomly-chosen graphologist's report will be
accepted overwhelmingly as an excellent description of
themselves by a large group who think it was done
individually for them.
Here are the references for those papers, should
anyone care to inspect them further:
KLIMOSKY, Richard & Anat RAFAELI (1983): "Inferring
Personal Qualities Through Handwriting Analysis",
Journal of Occupational Psychology, Vol. 56, pp.
KARNES, Edward (1986): "Graphoanalytic and
Psychometric Personality Profiles: Validity and Barnum
Effects", in press.
BEN-SHAKHAR, Gershon, M. BAR-HILLEL, Y. BILU, E.
BEN-ABBA & A. FLUG (1986): "Can Graphology Predict
Occupational Success? Two Empirical Studies and Some
Methodological Ruminations", Journal of Applied
Psychology, Vol. 71, pp. 645-53.
JANSEN, A. (1973): Validation of Graphological
Judgments: An Experimental Study, The Hague, Mouten.
There are many more studies cited on the above bccla
site, and also some very interesting related reading.
Okay, I think I hear the cows coming home now. Pop
quiz sometime next week.
Dr. Peg Daniels
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