HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION (EXCERPT):
“The first systematic attempts to study the relationship between handwriting and character traits were made in Italy at the beginning of the seventeenth century when Camillo Baldi published in Bologna a treatise presenting a method for judging the nature of a writer from his letters. Another book on the subject was also written by an Italian, Marcus Aurelius Severinus in the middle of this century. Both of these studies remained isolated attempts, however, and were apparently forgotten.
A new interest in handwriting arose a little over a hundred years later with Lavater’s Physiognomical Fragments, published in 1775-1778. This book, which includes one chapter on handwriting, makes only dogmatic statements. Lavater expressed his thoughts in this way: “The stem of the letter, its height and length, the position of the letters, and the clarity of the writing reveal the writer’s fer¬tility of thought. If the whole handwriting looks harmonious, it is easy to say something about the harmonious character of the writer.”
This, of course, was only intuitive interpretation. Goethe was also able to deduce the character of a writer by comparing his hand-writing with that of others; a great collector of samples, he tried to find some basis of comparison. In a letter of 1820 he writes: “It is very complicated to find a way out of this labyrinth of different signs.”
French Graphology. In France, a circle was formed for the purpose of studying the relationship between human qualities and their graphic expression. This group consisted of Cardinal Regnier, Archbishop of Cambrai, Bishop Soudinet of Amiens, and Abbé Flandrin, who became the teacher of Michon.
Abbé Michon made investigations into vast quantities of hand-writing. Through his studies and observations, and with the help of his collaborators Dalestre and Debarolle, he collected the signs of almost every human quality. He published his system, producing an invaluable catalog of graphological signs and rules, based on his experience. He did not try, however, to connect the psychology of handwriting with other branches of psychology or physiology, or to form a theoretical system. It was Michon who coined the word graphology.
As a consistent endeavor, graphology started around 1860 in France with Michon, and was continued by his pupils. They tried to build up a strictly empirical interpretation of handwriting. If, in twenty handwritings of courageous people, they found a certain trait, such as an open ”a” or a particular slant, they decided this was a trace of courage. This was the signage of graphology. To French graphologists, character was a mosaic of properties, each one related to a certain sign which could be removed or added to as one thought fit. Surprisingly, these Frenchmen were able to make good psychological diagnoses, probably because of their innate imagination and intuitive knowledge of human nature.
Graphological signs are by no means as antique as alchemy. In medicine, for example, graphological signs can be analyzed and combined as can any other group of signs. Generally, however, signs in medicine are not easy to interpret because they are only indirectly connected with the pathological process.
Nevertheless, there are groups of signs in graphology. For instance, certain tremors in hand-writing are indicative of Parkinson’s disease or of general paresis. Schizophrenia can be noticed at first glance because of the characteristic graphic disorder.”
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||6 MB|