A common definition for graphology is simply ‘the examination of handwriting to assess personality or character traits of the writer’.

The SWGDOC site states that examiners must be “actively engaged in the practice of forensic document examination” with the following explanation relative to graphology:

Forensic document examination is not synonymous with graphology. Graphology or graphoanalysis attempts to predict character traits from handwriting examination. Some graphologists call themselves handwriting analysts or document examiners and are therefore confused with FDEs. In U.S. v. Bourgeois, 950 F. 2d 980 (5‘h Cir. 1992), the court rejected the testimony of a proffered handwriting examiner, in part, because the individual’s training was completed through a correspondence school and its strong emphasis on graphoanalysis. It also pointed out that the witness was not certified by the ABFDE.ASTM also differentiates forensic document examination from graphology. Standard E444-98 states, “[f]orensic document examination does not involve the employment of calligraphic or engrossing skills, nor does it involve a study of handwriting in an attempt to create a personality profile or otherwise analyze or judge the writer’s personality or character.”

Under that definition, I am definitely not a graphologist. A forensic document examiner examines handwriting to address issues of potential authorship, not personality. Of course, forensic document examination covers a lot more things than just authorship of writing.

NOTE:  various terms are used and considered to be synonymous to graphology, including graphometry, graphometrics, graphanalysis, or graphoanalyis.

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