Italian flag

Forensic document examination

Identification of the graphical constants (graphological signs)

The immediate aim of forensic graphology is not personality analysis, but rather identifying analysis: to define and distinguish one individual from any other individual. In order to attain this objective one starts from the identification and combination of the different graphological signs present in a piece of handwriting in order to arrive at the definition of precise descriptions of graphic personality that make subsequent comparison possible.

Study of graphic automatisms (personalising characteristics)

In each piece of handwriting it is always possible to identify a series of graphical peculiarities that constitute individual creative drafting in the writing behaviour. These personalising characteristics become decisive in the comparison if they correspond to particular conditions, such as – for example – habitualness (that which is casual or accidental does not aid identification), a poor or modest visibility (therefore concerning details that are not comparable at first glance) and a non-simple spontaneous execution (in such a way as to be difficult to reproduce).

In this study the graphological method favours, in the comparison phase, graphic elements that more directly depend on the functional automatism of the writing movement, instead of the less significant morphological aspects due to the conscious diligence of the author.

Furthermore, the graphological method underlines the qualitative difference that exists between the common graphical descriptions that many handwritings share, and therefore cannot be considered as significant for comparison, and those unique details, or at least original, constant, characterised by poor visibility and difficult to imitate, that have the evidence of certain identification.

Consequently the graphological approach is able to distinguish in each piece of handwriting:

  • the strongly personalising and uncontrolled graphical characteristics, that also show a percentage rarity, with evidence of certain identification of personal graphic automatisms;
  • the graphical characteristics which are rationally identifiable and therefore by and large controllable or imitable, only as an indication;
  • the general personal characteristics common to the majority of people, which can fall within the analogies due to the national graphological characteristics, therefore not very significant for identification purposes.

This task lies entirely with the graphologist, who, in this phase of comparison examination, evaluates not only the number of concordances, but is able to grasp the significance of the same and therefore their probative value.