Science or Seance?

Barry Beyerstein, co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry created in 1976 to debunk fringe sciences, widely promoted graphology as unscientific, and therefore legally problematic for businesses who use this personnel assessment from handwriting. 

Beyerstein, 2002, believed graphology was a type of psychic reading which had been practiced for thousands of years. A writer for his committee's popular science magazine, Skeptical Inquiry, did a statistical analysis of graphology research to prove it was quackery. Although self-published as The Write Stuff (1992) without peer review, Dean's, 1992, conclusions have been cited uncritically in peer reviewed journals such as Personnel Psychology as though it was a legitimate meta-analysis that demonstrated "the extensive research on graphology has shown the validity of handwriting analysis to be negligible" (Highhouse, 2002, p.389), and conclusions of Dean, 1992, a former research chemist turned popular science writer, entered peer-reviewed research through the back door. The popular scientism of Skeptical Inquiry is not the same as critical inquiry of science. 
A history of science perspective can shed light on critical inquiry in the psychology research on graphology. Rivalry between classical test theory, which personality test ranking scores is based on, and graphology has existed since Hull and Montgomery's (1919) "Experimental investigation of certain alleged relations between character and handwriting.": Dean, 1992, simply repeated their statistical methods for ranking alleged personality traits and got the same lack of correspondence between their series of ranked scores and graphological indicators based on Crepieux-Jamin's (1895) early "French School" of graphology textbook. Crepieux-Jamin's methods for interpreting an individual's nature from their handwriting was already outdated and answered by the German psychologist's research on graphology, which Hull & Montgomery's (1919) alleged "Experimental investigation" cited but ignored.

The full article is at the url below.