Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

May/June 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Brief History of Graphology

This article was written by Ruth Gardner on May 31, 2002
posted under Graphology

The science of graphology has for many years been a tool to increase awareness of an individual’s character or personality. Three thousand years ago, Nero stated that he had no trust for a certain individual because his handwriting showed him to be treacherous. Aristotle believed that "Spoken words are the symbols of mental experience, and written words are the symbols of spoken words. Just as men have not the same speech sounds, so all men have not the same writing."

In l622, Camillo Baldo, a physician in Italy, wrote the first book that we know of on graphology. The book was titled How To Judge the Nature and the Character of a Person from His Letter. He commented on the fact that all writers write differently and that no one can write like another.

The word "graphology" was first used by Abby Michon of Paris. The word is taken from the Greek "graph" meaning writing and "ology" meaning study. Michon collected and studied thousands of samples and after many years published his system of analysis. He and perhaps some of his students established the Graphological Society in Paris that actively existed until World War II. A student of Michon’s, Jean Crépieux-Jamin, emphasized that handwriting must be studied as a whole gestalt, not as so many unrelated characteristics. Each of us is a complicated creation with many characteristics that form a sum total. When those characteristics are in conflict, they must be weighed one against the other to arrive at an accurate evaluation of the writing.

Ludwig Klages, a well-known philosopher in Germany, established the laws and principles of graphology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of these principles are still used by many graphologists today. Klages states that the basic law of expression is that every bodily movement actualizes the tensions and drives the personality. Klages originated the concept of "form level," which is judged by the general rhythm of writing. (This concept is accepted or rejected depending on the graphologist’s own desire and experience.) Among his many published books are Handwriting and Character and The Problem of Graphology.

Edgar Allan Poe analyzed handwriting and published some of his analyses. He used the word "autography" to describe his involvements. He stated that there are systemized procedures to autography, and that the analyst must be able to distinguish the differences between calculation and analysis. His observations and research were published in 1926 as a book by Dial Press of New York.

Gordon Allport, in his studies at Harvard Psychological Clinic in 1930, based his research on the assumption that: 1) personality is consistent; 2) movement is expressive of personality; and 3) the gestures and other expressive movements of an individual are consistent with one another. Thus he explained a basis for personality evaluation and its expression in handwriting.

In l955, Klara Roman and George Staemphli developed a checklist that organized certain factors and plotted them on a chart called a graphological psychogram. This psychogram was refined by Daniel Anthony of New York some years later.

Oddly, the acceptance and practice of graphology in the United States has progressed more slowly than in other parts of the world although there have been many noted American researchers. In Europe graphologists have been leaders in the study of graphology. Psychology curriculums in many European universities require studies in handwriting psychology.

When I ask people about their dreams, many times they will recount experiences of crazy landscapes where anything can happen (and probably will). But more often than not, what I hear about is the regularly recurring, repetitive dream that has haunted the dreamer their entire life; I hear over and over again from people that they "always dream of... read this article
5 Ways to Heal with the Wheel of the Year
5 Simple and Instant Creativity Boosts
Reading Tarot Cards: Divining Our Life Path
Ghost-Hunting at the Old Charleston Jail
Visualization for People Who Have Trouble Visualizing

Most recent posts:
The Soul Needs Time
Nancy Antenucci’s book Psychic Tarot is filled with great ways to enhance your connection to the cards and to spirit. It is also filled with...

The Art of Changing
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tiffany Lazic, author of the new The Great Work: Self-Knowledge and Healing Through the Wheel of the...

Using Imagery for Manifestation
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melissa Harris, author of the new 99 Keys to a Creative Life. I hope this writing finds you in a...




Where You End Where You End
By: Anna Pellicioli
Price: $9.99 US,  $11.50 CAN
Bite the Biscuit Bite the Biscuit
By: Linda O. Johnston
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Come to Harm Come to Harm
A Novel

By: Catriona McPherson
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Llewellyn's Complete Dictionary of Dreams Llewellyn's Complete Dictionary of Dreams
Over 1,000 Dream Symbols and Their Universal Meanings

By: Michael Lennox
Price: $24.99 US,  $28.95 CAN
The Final Reveille The Final Reveille
By: Amanda Flower
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN