Formal Validation

Formal Validation of Handwriting Analysis

Dr. Yury Chernov
IHS Institute for Handwriting Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland


In Chernov, Y., & Nauer, M. A. (Eds.). (2018). Handwriting Research: Validation & Quality. P. 37-68.

A psychometric test is only then to be considered reasonable and reasonably applicable when it is properly validated. That is not the case with projective tests in general and handwriting psychology in particular. Handwriting analysis as a psychometric method has several very useful qualities that make it very effective in combination with popular questionnaire-based assessment techniques. It covers a broad spectrum of personality traits in one test and is free from the influence of social desirability, which makes it more objective. Most of the existing studies that disqualify handwriting analysis are nowadays not acceptable, since they suffer from serious methodical problems and lack of statistical data and objectivity.
However, the controversy about it is not fair, since most of the both negative and positive research, reported in the previous studies, have not been done correctly. The current contribution focuses on the difficulties of the validation of handwriting analysis and describes the validation procedure that should improve the situation. The aim is not to advocate or deny handwriting analysis as a psychometric test but rather to point out how digitalization can detect the reliable parts of it and decline the outdated or wrong ones. The contribution shows a rational way for the validation, as well as presenting and discussing some results of validation against popular psychometric tests. 

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