HANDWRITING ANALYSIS AS AN ASSESSMENT AID

Created: 6/1/1959

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

STUDIES IN

INTELLIGENCE

A collodion ol articles on Ihe historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects of intelligence.

All statements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those of

ihe authors Ihcy do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of theielhgcnce Agency or any othci US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an aniclc's factual siatements and interpretations.

An amateur graphologist pleads for atry run on an assessment technique ofvalue in intelligence.

HANDWRITING ANALYSIS AS AN ASSESSMENT AID

Keith Laycoci

The assertion that reliable clueserson's character1 and some of his capabilities may be derived from analysis of his handwriting usuallyigorous pro or con reaction which seems to originate somewhere in the subconscious mind and not toeasoned consideration of the proposition. The reaction is at times so strong as tosychologist the Impression that those who shrink from the idea do so because they fear exposure and those who eagerly embrace it are the kind who like to snoop and pry. Whatever the psychological reasons, one thing is certain: the propositionood one forontroversy.

The art of handwritingas it is more commonly called, especially Intwo branches: an established and "respectable" one devoted to the identification of individuals by their handwriting,lack-sheep branch dealing with the assessment of personality. Tbe latter is the subject of thismrofessional graphologist,ave explored tbe subject enough to be convinced that this black artractical application in the assessment of persons to whom access for other character tests is limited

Since character assessment (as distinct fromis as complex as human nature Itself, and the art .

of handwriting analysis Is exceedingly difficult In Its detail, the most that can be achieved in any short paper Is to give

an outline of the theory Involved, in the hope that those/ .

who hare serious limited-access assessment problems will

encouraged to explore the matterdependently,

ass the indlrtdnaJ corwtetlatloa and balance of rtvea, tnldblOecs, and haUta which deterrntoes bow (rather than bowun will behevatven aituaUon.

n. I Hgwjii

Hondwrifrng Analysis

either through study or by enlisting the senicesro-fesslonal graphologist.

Plotting the Terms ol Reference

Anyone undertaking serious study or Investigation ofof any assessment system, for thatsettle three formidable related questions before he can safely submerge himself In the "how" ol the technique at all. to wit:ow far do we propose to go In plumbing the ramified depthsubject's character?ow do we handle the semantic problems which plague character descriptions?hat do we do about standards for Judging the ethical aspects of character?

It seems to me, on the first question, that we have to specify in some detail precisely what we want to know about acharacter before we can proceed in any assessmentand then keep within these sharply delineated limits to avoid an extensive mire. Most executives appear willing to settle for any assessment system which will consistently andtip them off to those peculiaritiesiven Individual which will be helpful and those which will be harmful In the job they are trying to flu- They seldom appear to be Interested In ultima tea about anyone's character, in complete "character-pictures" pages long, or in abstract conceptions that have to be interpreted. From the purely practical point of view. then, assessment starts with the Job description, and that Jobshould be supplementedist of desirable,and fatal traits. In the absence ofuide,becomes perforce an undertaking to describe all the traitsiven subject, an exceedingly unrealistic exercise In the present state of psychological knowledge and one which, if conscientiously carried out. results In massive andreports, long .

I should accordingly, without prejudice to the usability of graphology In the field of deeper research, answer the first question as follows: We shouldeasonablyresult from this technique toeport con taming aguide to those character-traits of the subject which make htm fit or unfit for the Job we have to mind, as specified by us.arning on any character-traits that deviate strongly from the average. For example: We specify that we want toank-teller's Job For this (with apologies to bank tellers)

Handwriting Analysis

wctable and mediocre person who is

able to stand dull routine, accurate, and honest, one

not quarrelsome, thieving, aggressive, or imaginative. Wethat in other respects he will be run-of-the-mill. The

assessment turns up one candidate who meets theof general mediocrity and willingness to handle other peoples money without appropriating it but who is alsovain, nieacock.otentially dangerousought to be reported to us, even If we have not required it.

Our second problem, semantics, canreat deal of difficulty either in the exercise of the graphological art or in the study of It; Ititfall into which many have tumbled. What Is an "honest" man? Whatbrave" man?of such wordsractical impossibility, since the third unknown, an ethical standard, is involved. If we couldagreed ethical standards, we could, no doubt, composewhich would be adequate, but there does not nowto beet of standards. In fact, at this point tohistory there seems to be more confusion than ever over whether the end Justifies the means or is inseparable from them. We are accordingly, as faran see, limited to using charac-terological terms to those denoting specific acts such as talk-tog, stealing, lying, etc. and must eschew words with ethical overtones. Many writers and students on the subject have fallen into the ethics trap, so let both student and practitioner be ware-It Is necessary to add yet another caution: The analysis of handwriting Is an art,cience, and the quality of theis dependent upon the caliber and capacity of the artist. Consequently, the statistical evaluation of graphologyto the accuracy of tbe results obtainedross-section of Its practitioners is meaningless. The question whether - graphology can be used reliably to assessment work seems to to depend on whether even one person can do It consistently,

notajority of those wbo claim to be_

can get results. The era! uator should be aware that aso-called graphologists are either dilettantes or char la-

tans, using an art of which theymattering toastound the gullible. It Is, to fact, this swarm ofand mystics,mall but noisy retinue ofmaking extravagant claims, who have done that recurring

Hondwn'tiPfl Anolyii*

damage to the reputation of graphology which ha. servedarassed executive of ita assistance.

Basts for the Art

As the reader will see from the bibliography attached at the end of this article, much has been written on the "how of graphology. The bibliography could be much longer wl bout exhausting the list of serious works. Tbe student who reads SaVbcoks will find that, while there Is considerableamong them In the area of fundament^rory there is striking urumimity on the more concrete technical level. This situation no doubt reflects the general duemmaot easier to devise tests thatidden hahtt such as 'takinghan to uncover the underlying SigrV reasons for the habit. We shall therefore tryfar as possible to avoid the more abstruse aspect* of the sub-"t" bussing next the general validity of the thesis that reliable clues to the character and to some of the capacitieserson may be derived from competent analysis of his

Essentially, two points have to be established, first that the Individuality of every person's handwriting is caused primarily by psychological, as distinct from mechanical, characteristics peculiar to the writer, and second, that there is reflectediven handwriting, in symbolidden story about these psychological factorsraphologist can read The individuality and peculiarity of everyandwriting is accepted by the courts, and it followserson smust change very slowly and slightly or not at allhis adult life, since otherwise the courts would not accept holographic evidence.

If this Indlviduailty in writing were the result of mechanical influences only, then tbe enonnous deviations from letter forms taught in school which some calligraphic* exhibit would be due to extreme mechanical kbosyncraslee, not to say dltncul ties peculiar to tbe writer. The fact is, however, that writers with exceedingly peculiar handwritings perform all other tasks with about the same mechanical competence as the next man, and conversely, persons who are markedly unadroK often have more regular handwritings than those of considerable mechan-

Handwriting Anolyiis

leal skill. Mechanical skill, In fact, is one of the abilitiesnot be deduced from

Handwriting is In reality brain-writing, as the followingwill prove to any reader who cares to try it: Sign your nameiece of paper. Now take the writing instrument between your molars and sign; then put the instrumentyour big and second toes and write your name that way. With some practice legible signatures can be produced In this fashion, which on comparison will be found to resemble closely <with due allowance for mechanicalhe workby the hand. Even if you cannot control your neck or leg muscles sufficiently to produce legible scrawls, you will be able to see that you are trying to direct the instrument held in teeth or toes to produce the image you have in mind.ould warn the reader who attempts this experiment either to make sure of privacy or to let any possible intruder knowwhat he is trying to do. Jt can be very embarrassing to be caught barefoot in simian concentration onencil with your toes.)

Thereumber of cogent reasons why psychological rather than mechanical factors dictate the main calligraphic peculiaritieserson who does noteurological condition of some sort. Let's look briefly at the Influenceozen common psychological motivations.

Pride inriter usually feels that hisappearance represents him to the reader andcommunity at large. He accordingly makes aof effort, depending on the degree to which heare important, to make his calligraphyTherefore his writing will to some degree reflecttaste in what looks good, and how muchplaces on looking good. _ ' :

Social Attitude. Except in the case of memoranda written for notekeeping. the act of writing has strong social.It ls.an act of communication, seeking to reach and. influence one or more dreaders, "whether with generous or sinister motives. How the writer moves across theoward the reader must,atter of common sense, reflect' -somewhat his attitude. elf-confident, outgoing, cheerful, trusting writer wbo loves people Is bound to cross the pagea very different way than the writer who hates, fears, and

Handwriting Anaiytit

trusts others, and perhaps himself as well.atter of common observation such opposite types^ act differently, use different gestures, have different smiles,t'la hardlythat their gestures on paper would differ.

Docility and Truculence. The act of writing is an act of conformity: if certain standards are not met, thecan be read only with difficulty or not at all. Here the people who like to make things difficult for others canield day by distorting their handwriting, leaving it Just readable enough to make theorture. Those who rebel in principle against conformity will also maun their writing, and so will some gentlemen who fear they may be called to account for what they have written. Others there are who conform rigidly to the set standards, some willingly, some desperately, tome furtively, and some because they have no particular personal preferences to express.

The Shock ol Early Battles. Writing may bear scars. Learning to write Is one of the first great struggles with society which many of us undergo, faced suddenlyrightfully difficult task which we must perform or remain illiterate. The Job can be torture,ame; that depends on many things. But the attitudes toward writing then(cramped, worried, overanxious; orre often reflected throughout life.

Emotional Disturbance. Writing Is an act ofsometimes of feelings hidden from the consciouspen driven by boiling emotions will move veryone in the handalculating or apathetic "coldwriter who Is tormented by ungratlfled (perhapssex wishes will unwittingly interject someinto his calligraphy. Where these wishes includeto commit rape-murders, the symbolism can be

Energy and Fatigue. Writingiece of work, to somedisagreeable chore and to all an effort requiringand output of energy. Is the writer ebullientOr does he wearily drag one foot after tbebe tireless or easily fatigued? Is he liberal with hisor does be try to economize on every movement?of bis pen on tbe paper wfll certainly varyv*&

Handwriting Analysis

Agility and Impatience.eans of communication, writinglow technique. .It. is adequate only.for the slow thinker; to the man whose mind is leaping ahead of his hand it becomes an irritating impediment. But ague minds may react variously to this drag: some devise ingenious shortcuts, others butcher tbe script beyond recognition The ruthless ones wade over the paper; the considerate ones tormentwith conscientious printing.

The Devious Intent. The writer knows that what be has written can be used for purposes he never Intended or even foresaw. Therefore the prudent man with ulterior motives writes cautiously, and the self-conscious criminal may choose ornate, Imposing script. Men who prowl craftily through life seldom caper across paper.

One's Path to Glory. We all desire to attain status among our fellows. Do we try to gain it by hard work? By sudden, spectacular achievement? By illegitimate methods? ByBy bragging? Would it not be strange, aftera letter full of exaggerated capitals and ornate flourishes, with various senseless embellishments for general effect, to find that the writeronscientious, self-effacing,drudge?

The Root of Evil. We all have some emotional relationship or attitude toward money. Do we spend nights dreaming of it? Squander it? Hoard it? Steal it? Despise It? Feel guilty about having it? Most accountants and bookkeepers can tell you, without even thinking,an feels about money by the way heheck. Some of them can makeood guess also about how far he trusts people.

Practice of the Art

At this point the reader wfll probably be satisfied that about as many factorsan's habits, attitudes, and traitsthe formation of bis handwriting as he has habits,and traits, and may agree that peculiarities Inriting are mainly generated by the psychological peculiarities' of the writer. We still, however, have not established tbe validity of point two,raphologist can consistently interpret peculiarities tn writing to reveal the peculiarities behind them. If systematic interpretation of handwtiling is to be possible, peculiarities or their combinations that

sec

Analyst

ertain trait ol character In one writer must indicate that trait in others, and be subject to interpretationto some set ot rules.

In an article of thisannot present the

tabulations which have been compiled by graphologies!relating specific peculiarities to specific traits. Moreover, simply presenting such tabulations would hardly convince the reader that the tabulated relationships are In fact correct; paper will, after all. put up with anything that is written on it In my experience, the only way you caneal skeptic that this kind of interpretation is consistently possible is to perform It cotuastenUy. or else cite performance dataource he respects. From my ownew cases where graphologists have madeaccurate delineations of the character ofhom we had abiding Interest of great Importance,ould like to cite two of the most striking ones very briefly Onm prepared to produce (for those with proper clearances only) precise documentary proof.

The firsterson who carried out ain duplicity for several years atA graphollgist who knew nothing about him but hisdescribed him in such accurate terms that whenversion ot the graphologies! report wasany other indication of Identity to five personsknown him well, all five recognised him from theand four concurred to It entirely. The fifthon all points except one: he did not think theinteUigenl as the graphologist assessed him totandard assessment was made by psychologists,in agreement that the manery high order .

The otheran who had carried out an evendeception, was processed by both aan American graphologist The two descriptions not

concurred in all major polntt. but were ultimately provedlax more accurate than we believed at the Ume theyV

produced.

This, of course, is not evidence, to the scientific sense, on the critical question of corslrtent performance. In both cases the handwriting specimens were of the striking kind which

kll'itm -

Handwriting Analysis

ayman would recognize aa having dements offrom the espionage point of view. To the best of my knowledge, and strangely enough when one thinks of the controversy that has raged around thisroper test run has never been devised and carried out, at least not in the United States, to determine whether any graphologist can consistently deliver accurate results in the area ofdelineation. Consistent results in the psychiatric area concerned with the detection of mental illness appear to be pretty wellnd these are certainly impressive. Thatifferent matter, however, from providing data on the character peculiarities of people who aret Is high time thatetermination were undertaken, and at the end of thishall take the liberty of making specific recommendations onest.

In the absenceresent fund of test data to throw at theesort to offeringrief description of one or two graphologies] techniques and the thinking behindope thereby to bring him to the point of joining the man who needs means for limited-access assessment and helping him generate pressure for carryingroperproblem on the pivotalanybody at ail do this work with reasonable accuracy and consistency?

Sortinp Out the Symbols

The techniques employed by the graphologist to bring out tbe hidden character-storyiven handwriting rest upon the Interpretation of symbolism in the specimen. There are two lands ofcommonociety or culture, and those which the writer may have devised on his own, usually unconsciously, to express subconscious wishes, fears, hatreds, and the like. We are all so surrounded and submersed in symbols and symbolism that we are oftento tbe tremendous expressive and controlling force of this cultural factor. In some way not understood, symbols are linked with the deepest Impulses of the mind. -They are notatter of simple association, as performed bydog. Some symbols areSwastika, tbeand Sickle, the Rising Hun, the Dollar sign, the Cross.

Levdnaoo at Zobm, BandwrUtng Analyru, Since Crown

Handwriting Analysis

Others are lessjagged, angular writing that suggest combat, cutting, tearing; the hidden rope and dagger; the blots and drips of ink, like poison and bloodstains, in some writing; the hidden treble clef of the music-lover. Someisreceding left margin, making innertheross harpooning Its victim; the whole writing back-slanting, as though resisting or reneging.

The interpretation of these symbolsrocess of analysis more or less as follows: First, all deviations from the model calligraphy the writer was originally taught in school. Insofar as this can be determined, are noted. Thatery substantial knowledge on the part of the analyst as to scripts and formats taught In different parts of the world at different tunes. Second, these and other symbolic deviations are evaluated In terms of the extensive lists of charactercompiled in tabular form by generations ofThen the Individual indicators are compared and sorted to form groups comprising for example those Indicatingor lack thereof, aggressiveness or lack of it; and the picture that emerges is then checked for consistency.

A complete re-evaluation has to be made when majorare detected or where confusion results. This Inconsistency or confusion is generally due to the factiven set of peculiarities In handwriting will reflect theset of positive peculiarities in the writer only about two-thirds of the time, and In the other third the symbolism may be inverted, reflecting not the positive trait but awish for the missingold and massive general's handwriting sometimes comesickey Mousean who would like toeneral but doesnt dare and hasn't the capacity. Atomplex mixture of direct, inverted, and wish symbols is present, and the graphologist is stuckiresome cut-and-try process until he comes uponsistent picture. It Is no wonder that theand tbe dilettante, who dent do the requiredand therefore should stick to simple handwritings, from tune to time fall on these Inconsistencies and are exposed. Unfortunately, people then blame the art, not the

These are the mechanics of the Interpretive process, but there also Is an "intuitive" factor involved There are so

Handwriting Analysis

many aspects of symbolism to consider more or less1

taneously that somethingomputer is really needed to perform the drudgery of comparison;elieve that the art, if it is ever tocience, will have to have electronic support for the human brain. But frequently some analysts seem readily to understand specimens of writing that baffle others, and vice versa. Still others seem tohandwriting by way of some subconscious response of their own to the latticework of symbols they see, without knowing how they do.it

A notorious case in point Is that of Roda Wieser, who once undertook to analyze the handwriting of hundreds of jailed criminals and then compared it with that of "honest" menen not to Jail!o cap the comedy, she pickedas the "honest" men, apparently not realising that she was actually only comparing the handwriting of unsuccessful criminals with thatroup no better or worse than other men involved in crime, but hardly ipso facto honest.in the semantic problem and her ignorance ofRoda labored long and hard and produced the strange book listed to the bibliography. Yet she was an almostInterpretive handwriting analyst; she appears simply not to have known how she did it.

A Kindergarten Case

Let us look, by way of elementary illustration, at oneof the symbol structure and something of itsWe shall stick to "direct" interpretation only, since the -inversion" and "wish" aspects would confuse matters and are not essential torasp on principles. In fact, if the reader sticks to the direct approach andittle study on the side, he can soon qualify for dilettantism -

and might even become a" quaefc " '"

When weetter by handlank sheet of paper, enter as it were an open area; and as we write acrosswe move upward, downward,-and-tocessanto-

and backward as weU. These four'directionsand the rones';

they point to Immediatelyommon or

symbolism. In our society the four have relatively

JmpUcatlona; take at random rdireses hla'high Ideals,'"**

acktoardrogressive firm. In writing, the way *

Handwriting Analysis

we behave with respect to these directions and how weour movements In these zonestrong significance In Individual symbolism. In Interpreting the significance of these symbols the graphologist (as distinct from thehowever well-read) spends hours and sometimes days matching up the various Indicators to see bow they Jibe. He will study slant, pressure, the way of joining the letters, size of print, flow of the lines, speed ot writing, extraneousetc,n each case buildingyramid of data, which, if be is sufficiently competent, ultimately makessense. For the purpose of our illustration, we can onlyew fragments of the process.

In the specimen of Figurehe right margin goes further and further right and the left margin also slopes to the right. As the writer proceeds he strives to get closer and closer to the reader, ending up practically in his lap. The capitals and upper loops In this specimen show distinctly the writer'sof movement in the upper zones, above the line ofbut note how repressed and hesitant he is tn venturing below the line. We conclude that he is far more at home In the world of Ideas and ideals than In material and animalThe letter-formations are extended toward the right, curtailed toward the left: the writer isurry to get to his goal (or away from his origins, himself, his past,he whole slants upward and onward.

We thusmall fragment of the giant compositewe have to construct before we know what the fragments mean. The writer seems at this point to be an Idea-man. idealist, or dreamer who is intent upon reaching the reader and careful to keep out of the mire, or else he is pretending to be that kind of person, or wishing be was, and moving full tilt.

Handwriting Analysis

Anofysil

harlatan's analysis (In thisof two specimens for one pairs-taUcat^ hoose this example not onlydeals with one of the easiest human trails to detect

handwriting and by personal contact, but also becauseof these Indicators Is within the capabilities of the lay reader, who may wish toittle on his own. by scanning the writing of persons he knows and whoseof garrulity heeel reasonably safe in saying that if the reader rules out those specimens which show contradictory Indications (such as large scrawly writing with closed and knotted o's and a's) he will soon discover that thereigh degree of correlationiven writersand the indicators cited in Figurend that the more indicators of either group there are presentiven specimen, the more marked the trait will be

If the reader wishes rather to test out the effectivenessgraphologist, what material should he be preparedAt least several pages of work, if possible fromsittings, one at leastignature Thebe on unruled paper in ink or good pencil,an instrument that suits the writer and underto which he Is accustomed. Ballpoint writingbecause the effort to control the flow frominstrument makes the pressure-frictionThe graphologist is entitled to know thesex, national origin, and profession, since he cannotfacts from the specimens, and they are Invaluableaids. An "effeminate" handwriting producedmale, for example, or the "masculine" writing done bymust be examined with care to determine howthe masculinity or femininity is real and how much.

aflectaUon. secret-wish expression,thisest my Introduction to Graphology, at least to have disabused the eager convert of the notion. V-- he can scon and easily train himself to detect other

secrets, and to have quieted the fear of exposure that may be haunting others My object was to persuade theskeptic that he cannot irtmply say "It cant bend to Induce the man who has llmtted-accees assessment prob-

Handwriting Analysis

2.

Exhibit A

Uj. AU ad*

Kxhlbll B

A. An oxtrrtoe case of talkativeness: Theuie and iprawly,nd ol are open. The words tend to "crow" aalood the page, Igoorini the right margin and crasMlng Into the reader. Thelanted heavUy forward; letters run into each other; the writing alanta upward, the capitalare large bat not meUculouilyroaaw ara wall to Uie right oftem. Indira ting haste; tbe writing ta broad, heavy and brutal

ase of acute clow-mouth: The writing is small aad refined; o'a and as are dosed and knotted; fi are booked to the left. Tbe left and right margins retreat The slant Is TtrUcal and, in some Instances, backwarda Lower loops are ekee-set and one la aealed shot. /

Piourat j

SECRET

Handwriting Analysis

lems (and some ol our peopleo eomlore i^.;

further.

Scope ol Intelligence Application

Weimited-access problem when we have to uncover the character and capabilitieserson whos dead, and so no longer available for questioning.s unwilling to talk and be tested,s out of reach of personal interview, maybe behind the) Is untruthful In his answers to tests and questionnaires,annot be formally tested and assessed because of expense, time factors, or security considerations,s not supposed to know we are assessing him. Where full access isattery of tests, particularly of the real-situation type used In OSS,areful study of thepast performance and reputation will give asesult as we can expect at this stage of our knowledge of man and yield somethingcientific picture of his Inner workings. But where access is limited, graphologyot unsatisfactory substitute.

In most cases, competent graphologists can supply reliable estimates on the following important character-traits: Disposition to talk too much. There are, to be sure, some

people who can talk much and betray little, but by and

large the man whoot letshing slip out

of his mouth.

Emotional stability under stress. People who crack easily

show cracks In their calligraphy. Agressiveness, resistance, and tenacity. Attitude toward money; ability to control tbe handling of

It (Not ability to Investisposition to deceive, prevaricate, evade, double-talk (as

distinct from capacity to succeed inj.-

isposition to take both sides of an

to have / , .

Inclination toward opportunism,o approach moral .

questions and matters of principle.bn tbe '-

lving "

Desire for power, predominance, prominence.

Willingness to follow the lead of..^

Rebelliousness, crankiness, indlaposilion to conform.

ordination.

Handwriting Analyst*

and

important changes tn character (by comparison of present

with pasthe graphologist can also provide reasonably good estimates on certain capabilities: Capacity for abstract thinking and logic.bility to deal with people. Powers of observation. Imagination.

Then thereew characteristics on which acanood educated guess:

Sex difficulties. Their existence is often detectable, but their nature may not be.

Disposition to engage in criminaliolation of laws the validity of which the subject acknowledges.

Disposition to engage In violence against persons. (It Isto note that these dispositions may never be overtly expressed either because of fear or otherfactors or for mere lack of opportunity, provocation, or need.)

Graphologies! techniques also have medical applications. Some calligraphies bear the warning signs of cancer andailments; others the signs of incipient mental illness and nervous breakdown.

There are certainraphologist can not tell:

Sex of writer.

Age of writer (ta chronological terms, as distinct from level of emotional maturity).

Mechanical ability or other special skills.

General level of ability to perform acts to which tbemay be disposed. (For example, subject mayDisposed to lie and-evade, but Inept" at"

"Fortune" or future in store _for the

Past history of work, crime* etc. (although very cogent esti-

- mates can be made as to cultural background from the type and level of calligraphy). -v

I have the Impression that most people with serious limited-access assessment problems would be very glad to get some of the Information outlined above about the people they handle

Hondwrtiing Analysis

istance. It is an odd coincidence that the graphologist

can shed roost light on precisely those character traits which

are of significance in clandestine operations. The art has

eculiar potential tn the half-world of espionage

counterespionage, where paranoid and split personalities

abound and frustrated executives are the order of the day.

The Dry Run

I hope that there will soon be pressure to resolve the keyany person claiming toraphologist come up consistently with reasonably good character descriptions? If any one at all can do it. then it can be done. If after all these years no one can be found who can do it then It cannot (for our purposes) be done It would be all too easy toroving problem to show it can not be done, just as It isto prove mathematicallyumble-bee cannot fly. The best way toeaningless result would be to tie It Into the strange pattern of abstruse psychological jargon which has of late come to infest some quarters of theworld and which reflectselieve to be the sheer delusion that any group of men is able to formulate scientific conceptions of the qualities of human character. Man is. after all. Just emerging from the Sea of Ignorance and cannot at this point comprehend soorce as gravity. He is hardlyosition to claim to understand the most complex of natural phenomena, man himself. Practical executives want simple, practical descriptions of character-traits without implied moral judgments or technical Jargon, and those with -limited-access assessment problems are willing to settleood deal less.

I would like to recommend the following specific procedureproving problem that will eventually have to beC" V"

It should be controlled, and the final judgment made,

practical executives, not psychologists, psychiatrists,men. or graphologists. They should'be men . need help to assessment problems, and one or two' - - Jbe executives handling espionage agents. In

matter, neither the graphologists nor the psychological-

psychiatric fraternity are disinterested parties. The sat-rightly or wrongly, see tn the graphologist what

<SeXsorT-

Handwriting Analysis

minimum of fifty sets of handwriting specimens should be secured, at least meeting the specifications andthe auxiliary data prescribed onhey should bear false signatures and be written in ignorance of the fact that they are to be used for any purpose other than communication. The writers must be menatter of record, not established by some other series of tests. (Famous men cannot be used;know theirhe greatestshould be taken both to prevent the writers from knowing what is afoot and to prevent the analysts from learning tbe identity of the writers.

It should be required that the analyses be couched ineveryday descriptive language, with Jargon andterminology ruled out. They should be short and to the point, and exclude such ambiguities as "This man is basically honest and sincere, but is capable of theft and deception underroper statement on these points would run something like one of tbe following: "The writer will say what he thinks as long as this IsThe writer will say what be thinks and take chances to do so, but does not speakThe writer will say what he thinks, no matter what theThe writer will steal anything not nailedThe writer will not steal under ordinaryThe writer has strong moral scruples against stealing and would ratherhese are definitive statements with which the layman can come to grips.

Each graphologist tested should be required to state what specific character-traits and capabilitiese can identify and describe,'thus avoiding the danger of. pushing him Into having to deliver something be cannot. -None should be required or permitted to go off the deep end and try toharacter at large; they should stick to the specific character-traits each claims he can de- -

Handwriting Analysis

and let us assume that the rest of the picture win either be deduclble from these main traits or "average."

Each, graphologist should have the right tof the specimens if he wishes. We do not want to force him into the educated-guess area, and it will also be most interesting to see whether they all reject the sameercent.

Some graphologists may wish to operateeam, and that would seem as allowable as any other team exercise But the tests must not be aimed at groups ofthe purpose is to lest the performance of individual graphologists without regard to affiliation.

Some European graphologists of stature should be included, as the art is far more advanced in Europe.

A few amateurs should be permitted to participate. Ofhould like to be one.

The content, procedure, and results of these tests should be circulated In the intelligence community.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

of Handwriting

DelneCha- Hugo Rles nutter

Der Verorecher und Seine RodaWIcser

Handschrlft {The Criminal

and Bis HandwriUng) Handschritt und charakter Ludwlg Klagrs

ey to Per- Klara Goldvlher

HandwriUng liLucas

Intelligent lm Bcfariftausdruc* Max Pulver

(Intelligence Expressed in

Handwriting) Symbollk der Handschrlft Max Pulver

(Symbolism of Handwriting)

Allen Unwln.

London.IMS Siemens Verlag. Bad Horn burg. Oer-msny. IMO Altdorfer Verlsg. Stuttgart. ma B. Bouvier '.onn, Germany, Ml

Pantheon Books. NT,

Bell Pubushing Co, Drexal Hill. Pa.

Ordl tUeadl Verlag. MSB, Swltser-tsxtd

Otell rneasii Verlag, Zurich. Bwltaer-land

Original document.

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