This article is dedicated to capital letters. What is the function of Capital Letters? The basic rule indicates that the correct way of writing is in lowercase. Capitals letters are used at the beginning of a line or paragraph, followed by a punctuation mark in the case of proper names.
SECRET An amateur graphologist pleads for at least a dry run on an assessment technique of potential value in intelligence. The reaction is at times so strong as to give a psychologist the impression that those who shrink from the idea do so because they fear exposure and those who eagerly embrace it are the kind who like to snoop and pry.
Whatever the psychological reasons, one thing is certain: The art of handwriting analysis-graphology, as it is more commonly called, especially in Europe--has two branches: The latter is the subject of this paper.
I am not a professional graphologist, but I have explored the subject enough to be convinced that this black art has a practical application in the assessment of persons to whom access for other character tests is limited. Since character assessment as distinct from capabilities-testing is as complex as human nature itself, and the art of handwriting analysis is exceedingly difficult in its detail, the most that can be achieved in any short paper is to give an outline of the theory involved, in the hope that those readers who have serious limited-access assessment problems will be encouraged to explore the matter further, independently, either through study or by enlisting the services of a professional graphologist.
Plotting the Terms of Reference Anyone undertaking serious study or investigation of graphology--or of any assessment system, for that matter--must settle three formidable related questions before he can safely submerge himself in the "how" of the technique at all, to wit: It seems to me, on the first question, that we have to specify in some detail precisely what we want to know about a subject's character before we can proceed in any assessment operation, and then keep within these sharply delineated limits to avoid an extensive mire.
Most executives appear willing to settle for any assessment system which will consistently and reliably tip them off to those peculiarities of a given individual which will be helpful and those which will be harmful in the job they are trying to fill.
They seldom appear to be interested in ultimates about anyone's character, in complete "character-pictures" pages long, or in abstract conceptions that have to be interpreted. From the purely practical point of view, then, assessment starts with the job description, and that job description should be supplemented by a list of desirable, undesirable, and fatal traits.
In the absence of such a guide, assessment becomes perforce an undertaking to describe all the traits of a given subject, an exceedingly unrealistic exercise in the present state of psychological knowledge and one which, if conscientiously carried out, results in massive and complicated reports, long delayed.
I should accordingly, without prejudice to the usability of graphology in the field of deeper research, answer the first question as follows: We should consider a reasonably acceptable result from this technique to be a report containing a reliable guide to those character-traits of the subject which make him fit or unfit for the job we have in mind, as specified by us, plus a warning on any character-traits that deviate strongly from the average.
We specify that we want to fill a bank-teller's job. For this with apologies to bank tellers we want a stable and mediocre person who is conscientious, able to stand dull routine, accurate, and honest, one who is not quarrelsome, thieving, aggressive, or imaginative.
We assume that in other respects he will be run-of-the-mill. The assessment turns up one candidate who meets the specifications of general mediocrity and willingness to handle other people's money without appropriating it but who is also exceedingly vain, in fact a peacock.
Such a potentially dangerous factor ought to be reported to us, even if we have not required it. Our second problem, semantics, can cause a great deal of difficulty either in the exercise of the graphological art or in the study of it; it is a pitfall into which many have tumbled.
What is an "honest" man? What is a "brave" man? Definition of such words is a practical impossibility, since the third unknown, an ethical standard, is involved. If we could establish agreed ethical standards, we could, no doubt, compose definitions which would be adequate, but there does not now appear to be such a set of standards.
In fact, at this point in human history there seems to be more confusion than ever over whether the end justifies the means or is inseparable from them. We are accordingly, as far as I can see, limited in using characterological terms to those denoting specific acts such as talking, stealing, lying, etc.
Many writers and students on the subject have fallen into the ethics trap, so let both student and practitioner beware.Michael Brant Shermer (born September 8, ) is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor-in-chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims.
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