Graphology and personality: an empirical study on validity of handwriting analysis

Psychol Rep. 2009 Dec;105(3 Pt 2):1255-68. doi: 10.2466/PR0.105.F.1255-1268.


The aim of the present work was to examine validity of the graphological method to assess personality traits. The results of two studies are described. In Study 1, the Big Five Questionnaire was administered to a sample of 101 university students who provided a sample of a handwritten text. Two graphologists were asked to detect the same dimensions and facets measured by the Big Five Questionnaire using a 9-point scale. Correlations between the Big Five Questionnaire and graphological evaluations did not confirm the capability of handwriting analysis to measure Big Five personality traits. Also, interrater reliability was very low. Study 2 (N = 102) was carried out using handwritten texts with autobiographical content for the graphological analysis. Two different graphologists and two laypersons were involved. No evidence was found to validate the graphological method as a measure of personality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Character*
  • Female
  • Handwriting*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Students / psychology
  • Young Adult