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Tall Tales about the Mind and BrainSeparating fact from fiction$
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Sergio Della Sala

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.001.0001

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Graphology—a total write-off

Graphology—a total write-off

Chapter:
(p.233) Chapter 16 Graphology—a total write-off
Source:
Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain
Author(s):

Barry L. Beyerstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.003.0017

Graphology, or handwriting analysis, is the allegedly scientific practice of determining people's psychological, social, occupational and medical attributes, as well their moral stature, from the configuration of their letters, lines, and paragraphs on a page. Graphologists strenuously deny, though there is much evidence to the contrary, that they pay any attention to the contents of the scripts they analyse. Following some definitions and historical background, this chapter presents the logical and scientific objections to graphology. It then discusses the psychological research on the ‘subjective validation effect’ which explains why a practice that consistently fails well-controlled empirical tests can still seem utterly convincing to intelligent, educated people who run across it in everyday settings.

Keywords:   graphology, handwriting analysis, graphologists

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