What is the term for the study and analysis of handwriting?

And the answer: Graphology.  
Photo credit: Jb344tul.

The study and analysis of handwriting is referred to as graphology. Graphologists will use handwriting to attempt to decipher the writer’s personality traits. There is no scientific basis to graphology, and it is generally considered a pseudoscience, but the practice remains widespread, particularly in France.

Although we’ve all-but swapped the pen and paper for a monitor and keyboard, handwriting remains an important cultural cornerstone of communication, even today. Packages and documents require signatures, notes must be taken one way or another, and more generally, handwriting is an essential building block of learning that can be accessed throughout life. You may recall teachers telling you to “write that down” to remember it better, and the truth is, they’re right: in addition to being faster and more accurate, the act of physically writing things down on paper is associated with more robust brain activation in multiple areas, as well as improved memory recall.

Handwriting also helps engage critical thinking skills that are otherwise missing when typing on a keyboard. The process of writing out a word by hand encompasses many small decisions—from placement to size to shape—so engaging the active part of your brain which makes those decisions helps support long term brain health.


Did you know?

Yesterday was National Handwriting Day! Each year on January 23rd, National Handwriting Day commemorates John Hancock’s birthday, the signer of the Declaration of Independence whose autograph became so famous that we now commonly use “John Hancock” as another term for “signature.” Learn more about handwriting and the history of it here.


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