Measurement Special Handwriting Signs

Measurement of General and Special Handwriting Signs in the Forensic Handwriting Examination

Dr. Angelika Seibt
Forensic handwriting expert, Rottach-Egern, Germany


In Chernov, Y., & Nauer, M. A. (Eds.). (2018). Handwriting Research: Validation & Quality. P. 160-173.

In empirical science, handwriting signs are measured, whereby measurements are made at different scales. They can be nominal, ordinal, and empiric. The relevant observations are determined by the purpose of an investigation. There are different types of script descriptions.
In forensic handwriting examination, the findings are collected in a very detailed and differentiated manner. Forensic expert reports for the purpose of author identification are not based on assumptions of personality psychology. The handwriting analysis is solely concerned with the question of whether or not a script in question X originates from the writer of the comparative script V. The basis of a forensic script examination is the observable findings as well as a defined set of rules for the evaluation of the findings.
In forensic handwriting analysis findings are collected using physical-technical methods. Additionally, general and individual handwriting signs are compared between samples. General signs are those that can be applied to all handwriting samples. Individual signs have to be defined ad hoc only in the individual case at the specific comparative examination. The current paper focuses on the measurability of handwriting signs in theory and practice.

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