For ages experts and laymen have been analyzing and trying to crack the code of handwriting characteristics, in order to detect an individual's personality traits, or in most cases, gauge their innocence in the case of a crime. Although this science has often gone the way of pseudoscience, researchers are now discovering that with the aid of a computerized tool, handwriting characteristics can be measured more effectively.
The research, headed by Gil Luria and Sara Rosenblum at the University of Haifa, is published in an upcoming issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology. The researchers utilized a computerized tablet that measured the physical properties of the subject's handwriting, which are difficult to consciously control (for example: the duration of time that the pen is on paper versus in the air, the length height and width of each writing stroke, the pressure implemented on the writing surface). They have found that these handwriting characteristics differ when an individual is in the process of writing deceptive sentences as opposed to truthful sentences.
The handwriting tool has the potential to replace, or work in tandem, with popular, verbal-based lie detection technology such as the polygraph to ensure greater accuracy and objectivity in law enforcement deception detection.
Additionally, polygraphs are often intrusive to the subject and sometimes inconclusive. The handwriting tool therefore provides ease and increased accuracy over common, verbal-based methods.
- Gil Luria, Sara Rosenblum. Comparing the handwriting behaviours of true and false writing with computerized handwriting measures. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 2009; n/a DOI: 10.1002/acp.1621
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