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The History and Legitimacy of Graphology as a Psychodiagnost

The History and Legitimacy of Graphology as a Psychodiagnostic Tool
The Greek words graphein-, meaning'to write,' and -ology meaning'the study of' come together to form the modern-day term, graphology (Victor 3).The definition of graphology simply stated, the study of handwriting, tells one very little about the true meaning of graphology.Graphology: the science of estimating character by studying the handwriting.This definition delivers a much more precise and clear picture of what is involved with graphology.This paper will explore the history of graphology, and, more importantly, its needful inclusion to the battery of currently used psychodiagnostic tests.
Handwriting analysis, although considered to be a contemporary idea, has a lengthy history, dating as far back as the third century B.C., when Aristotle wrote, "Just as all men do not have the same speech sounds, neither do they all have the same writing."Fourteen hundred years later, in the eleventh century, the Chinese philosopher Kuo Jo-hsu wrote, "Handwriting infallibility can show whether it comes from a person who is noble-minded or one who is vulgar." In Italy, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, Alderisius Prosper composed thefirst systematic written study of handwriting analysis entitled Ideographia.Although the book did not receive the widespread recognition that it hoped for, it did not go unnoticed.Eighteenth century writings appear from Lavatar and Grohman, both continuing the research earlier explored by Prosper and his predecessors.Many artisans in various fields began to show an interest in the correlation between a man's written words and his character traits.Many authors and poets, including Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Mann, and Alexander Dumas, intrigued by the connection refer to graphology in their publicized works (Sara 13-15).
A group of the European pioneers…

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