Project Description

16 PF-R is a well-know and commonly accepted test. There were some attempts in the past to perform studies on criterion validity of handwriting psychology. Most of the published results were negative. However the way these studies were carried out cannot be accepted as serious scientifically due to the way the graphological analysis was involved and due to the inappropriate statistical methods.
In our research we try to overcome these problems by firstly, modeling the scales of 16 PF-R properly in the results of graphological analysis, and, secondly, by using the HSDetect software to perform this analysis. In this manner we receive stable and objective evaluations of personality traits via handwriting analysis. 58 subjects involved in the research take the 16 PF-R-test and provide a sample of their handwriting. A professional handwriting expert evaluated the handwriting signs with HSDetect. As a result the software calculated the personality traits and aggregates them into special variables that model the scales of 16 PF-R. These variables are compared to the results of the 16 PF-R-test of each subject.

The scales of 16PF:

  • A Warmth
  • B Reasoning
  • C Emotional Stability
  • E Dominance
  • F Liveliness
  • G Rule-Consciousness
  • H Social Boldness
  • I Sensitivity
  • L Vigilance
  • M Abstractedness
  • N Privateness
  • O Apprehension
  • Q1 Openness to Change
  • Q2 Self-Reliance
  • Q3 Perfectionism
  • Q4 Tension

Validation Methods

Statistical hypothesis test (χ2-method, binomial distribution test), statistical power analysis.


By 14 Scales out of 16PF the statistical agreement between the test and HSDetect was detected. Two scales, namely, Vigilance (L) and Perfectionism (Q3) did not demonstrate high statistical agreement. None of scales showed statistically significant disagreement.
The results of the study are published in particular in “MDPI. Behavioral Sciences.

Project Team

Claudia Caspers, Orbis Service Concepts, Munich, Germany
Dr. Yury Chernov, IHS Institute for Handwriting Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland