Q: What is Graphoanalysis?

  A:   Graphoanalysis is a scientific system of identifying and assessing the character and personality of an individual through a study of handwriting.  The techniques used are based on a well-defined, standardized method of:
1) identifying strokes
2) relating these strokes to specific personality traits
3) evaluating the relative strength of the interrelated traits.

Has it been proved that a person's personality is reflected in his/her handwriting?

A:     Ever since Renaissance days (1622) when Camillo Baldi, an Italian physician, wrote the first treatise on the subject, many learned people have believed that handwriting can indicate character traits.  Sigmund Freud wrote, "There is no doubt that men also express their character through their handwriting."  Today most psychologists agree that there is a correlation between the constitutional, mental, and emotional characteristics of an individual and the way her or she forms strokes in handwriting.

Q:  What is the basis for the theory that specific strokes indicate certain personality traits?

A:   Identification of a trait is based on several interrelated signposts which support or substantiate each other.  A one-to-one theory is not practiced in Graphoanalysis.  It si an oversimplification and there is little or no validity in the popular belief that just one graphic sign can be relied on to identify a trait of personality.  Although separate and distinct personality traits are recognized, the Graphoanalyst evaluates the relative strength of the different traits shown and evaluates the effect of one trait upon another, thus arriving at a description of the individual's total personality pattern.

Q:  What is the difference between Graphoanalysis and graphology?

A:   The generic dictionary word for all forms of handwriting analysis is graphology.  This includes serious work by qualified students of the subject as well as all of the many uses of handwriting by disreputable occultists.  The International Graphoanalysis Society  coined the Graphoanalysis to clearly identify scientific handwriting analysis.  Graphoanalysis is a specific system of delineating personality traits through the study and evaluation of strokes and stroke formation in handwriting.

Q:   When and by whom was Graphoanalysis developed?

A:    While books and papers on the study of handwriting have been available since 1622, none of them had ever agreed on methods of relating a writing to personality.  It was not until 1915 that Milton Newman Bunker, a teacher and expert in anumber of shorthand systems, recognized that each student formed shorthand strokes in a unique manner.  although Mr.Bunker had read several books on graphology, he was not convinced of the reliability of any of the existing theories or methods of analyzing handwriting.  Upon observing the variation in stroke formation of his students' shorthand exercises, he began to investigate the possibility that it was the stroke that reflected the writer's personality and character.  The same strokes could be found in writing in any language, in doodles, and even if the pen ws held between the teeth, the toes, or in the crook of an elbow.  Impulses from the brain directed the stroke formation.  Mr. Bunker accumulated thousands of handwriting specimens, and with the help of other serious students of handwriting analysis, he set up the system now known as Graphoanalysis.  The Graphoanalytic system is the only method of handwriting analysis that has been thoroughly researched  and tested for reliability and validity.

Q:    Is the system, as now set up, in its final form? 

A:     Graphoanalysis is not a closed subject.  As in any science, continuing studies reveal additional information.  Research concerning the relationship between handwriting strokes and personality traits is conducted on a continuing basis.  When reliability and validity of new findings have been proved to the satisfaction of the research and education aims of the profession, such information is passed on to qualified Graphoanalysts and included in the standard instruction material.

Q:    What is the relationship between Graphoanalysis and psychology?

A:     Graphoanalysis is a branch of applied psychology - a discipline.  Modern psychological findings are important in the preparation of the evaluation portion of a Graphoanalytic report.

Q:     In what business or social fields is Graphoanalysis of value?
A:     Since better understanding of oneself and others is the primary aim of Graphoanalysis, the knowledge gained through handwriting analysis is of value in practically every area of a person's private, social, and business life.

Q:     What training or schooling is necessary in order to become a Graphoanalyst?

A:     The formal training program of the International Graphoanalysis Society consists of residential courses in Chicago, two extension courses for home study, each of which is an 18 month program, and supplementary materials sent out monthly to members.  State and Provincial chapters hold regional meetings several times annually which are in the nature of educational seminars..  Often someone from Headquarters is on hand to lecture.

Q:     Are diplomas or proofs of proficiency awarded?

A:     Upon satisfactory completion of the Genral course the student is awarded a certificate and title of Certified Graphoanalyst.  A Graduate course leads to the designation of Master Certified Graphoanalyst.  Certificates of Residents Training are awarded Certified Graphoanalysts who participate in at least three sessions of the Institute of Graphoanalysis, conducted each summer in Chicago as part of the International Congress of Graphoanalysis.

Q:     How is Graphoanalysis used in business and professional fields?

A:     Many people use their skills in personality assessment as an adjunct to other professional activities.  Teachers and social workers, for example, find Graphoanalysis of great value as a means of understanding their students' and clients' personalities and characteristics, thus enabling them to do a better job.  some Graphoanalysts serve as free-lance consultants to business and counselling agencies.  Graphoanalysts are also hired by business firms to aid in personnel selection, credit risk evaluation, and in connection with employee motivation programs.  Document examinerss who have a background in Graphoanalysis have added training to help them determine authenticity of authorship of a disputed signature.  Psychologists, too, employ Graphoanalysts to prepare pofiles of their patients, sometimes on a "progressive" basis.

Q:     Is the same type of report given in each case?

A:     Graphoanalysis reports are tailored to determine specific facts.  In individual servies there are comprehensive character Graphoanalyses which may run anywhere from a few pages to thirty or more, depending on the complexity of the individuals personality.  Vocational Graphoanalyses focus on a combination of the basic character of the individual writer, coupled with the aptitudes revealed by the writing.  A compatibility report is one that is made to determine the fitness of two people for marriage or for a long-term business association.

Q:     What fees do consulting or free-lance Certified Graphoanalysts charge?

A:     Graphoanalysts are professional people and are trained to think first of the service they can render.  The matter of fee is secondary.  The scale of rates varies, depending on the ability, training, and experience of the Graphoanalyst.  A brief Personality Profile will cost about $30.oo: a comprehensive report, about $300.  Vocational and compatibility reports ususally command fees of $400 to $500.

Q:     I Graphoanalysis more accurate than other personality assessment techniques?

A:     None of the currently used psychological testing instruments is infallible - neither isGraphoanalysis.  In the hands of able Graphoanalysts, however, this techniques has generally proved more satisfactory than many other forms of testing.  Handwriting, unlike other forms of expressive behaviour, remains to be studied and interpreted long after it has been produced.  Also, specimens can be studied which were produced when the subjects had no thought of being "tested" or "analyxed", hence the test scores are not distorted by self-consciouslness or "test fright".  Alfred Adler termed handwriting "forzen gesture".

Q:     Can Graphoanalysis diagnose disease?

A:      If the ailment affects the mental condition of the writer, that condition often reflects itself in the writing.  Graphoanalysts, unless they hold M.D. degrees, do not attempt to diagnose any such conditions.  Qualified medical practitioners can and do use Graphoanalysis as an aid in diagnosign and even treating a patient's physical and mental condition.

Q:     Can an individual's personality be changed by "forcing" changes in handwriting" 

This, too, is a field or area of handwriting analysis now being researched.  Indications are that such praphotherapy measures may be beneficial.  Agian, however, Graphoanalysts are cautioned against activity along this line unless they have special training in therapy procedures.  Most Graphoanalysts simply present factual assessments of personality as acertained thrugh a study of the handwriting sample submitted to agencies capable of provviding furhter aid.  The same is true of counselling personal or family matters, unless, of course, the Graphoanalyst is also a qualified counsellor or social worker.

This information was taken from the question and answer brochure provided by the Public Information Department of the International Graphoanalysis Society, Chicago, Illinois.