File this under “Sad but true”: organisations still use the discredited pseudo-science of graphology to select employees. I recently came across an article on BBC News about its continued use in France.
Wait: haven’t we been through this before? Yes. I wrote about it back in 2010, when the Telegraph discussed the handwriting of UK politicians in the run up to the general election.
Interestingly, although graphologists claim to have lots of work, few organisations own up to using it as a methodology. Perhaps they’re embarrassed?
The last independent study was in 1991, and it found that a massive 91% of public and private organisations in France were then making use of handwriting analysis.
Graphologists’ logic is circular. They point to its complexity and its simultaneous simplicity. They argue that its success can’t be measured using conventional means (a little like those advocating homeopathy and similar approaches) but point to their clients’ satisfaction as the criterion for success.
“And just because we cannot measure its success rate using mathematics or statistics – that doesn’t mean it is not a valid tool. In all our client studies, there is an extremely high satisfaction coefficient. People use it because it works.”
On the face of it, it sounds like an appealing concept. That our personality is writ large (pun intended) by our handwriting. Surely an analysis of this – by trained professionals, of course – will provide useful insight into our inner world. Handwriting is, after all, quite personal and distinct.
The research evidence is overwhelming negative when it comes to the validity of graphology as a tool for selecting employees. It doesn’t assess personality and cannot predict fit for role or performance in role.
You might as well consult a medium or astrologer.