Israel’s obsession with handwriting has a long past. There was a time back in the 80s when handwriting was used as a personality test in Israel. Graphology tests were used at the time to allow some Israelis to become residents in the West Bank.
Handwriting was routinely used and analyzed as a means of personality screening and psychological screenings.
Some viewed handwriting analysis so highly that they would even choose a partner based on the practice.
Job applicants, at the time, had a 60% chance that their handwriting would also be critiqued and used to determine if they were suitable for a job. It was a time when handwritten resumes were common.
But the rise of the big 5 personality test and computers have eased many of these handwriting nuances.
While the tests of the past may have been seen as “overkill,” and some believe that they had no basis at all, there is a new study from Israel that validates these handwriting tests and analysis.
The University of Haifa conducted a study on handwriting, and what was found was very impressive. Researchers weren’t interested in what the participants wrote – you can write that you’re happy and excited. What researchers were interested in was how the person wrote.
Moods, as the study concludes, come through in the way that people write regardless of the subject matter that is being written.
Research and emotional therapy require a means that is free from what a subject tells the researcher. Handwriting is thought to include numerous actions that are automated, without impairment from the person writing.
Changes in handwriting were found to identify the person’s emotional state.
Researchers focused on shapes, letters, pressure and even spaces between words to be able to determine the mood and emotional state of the writer. Software was created that measures changes in handwriting, and it was determined that writing really does reflect our mood and personality.
Researchers were able to find out that people in negative moods often wrote letters that have a much lower height when compared to someone writing in a positive mood. Narrow width and quicker writing were also shown to be a trait of a person writing while in a negative mood.
Mood measurement is an interesting field, and including handwriting into the mix seems to be a common trait in Israel.
Whether it be in the 80s when handwriting was analyzed before a person was accepted into a settlement or today when trying to determine a person’s mood, Israel seems to have an obsession with handwriting.
Computerized systems are also being deployed that have been able to determine medical fraud based on a person’s handwriting. It’s an interesting topic, and it is one that Israel has been at the forefront of for decades.
The University of Haifa, suggested in 2014 that they would be able to provide a patented system to the healthcare industry that would be able to detect medical fraud through handwriting alone. The system, which also measured several points in writing, such as speed, spacing and height, is able to determine when a person is writing the truth or a lie.