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Langston Psycholinguistics Lecture 5. Fonts , visual perception, reading. Plan. Top-down Comprehension Bottom-up. Plan. Our goal is to start with the input and see how far we can take it. Constraint satisfaction problem.

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slide2
Plan
  • Top-down
  • Comprehension
  • Bottom-up
slide3
Plan
  • Our goal is to start with the input and see how far we can take it.
    • Constraint satisfaction problem.
  • We will introduce top-down influences when the situation demands it.
important point
Important Point
  • Speaking is something kids develop “on their own.”
  • Nobody reads without formal instruction and many have problems with reading.
writing systems
Writing Systems
  • The following discussion is taken from Anderson (1989) in O'Grady, Dobrovolsky, & Aronoff (1989).
writing systems1
Writing Systems

1. Logographic: Each sign represents a word.

  • Pictograms: A picture is what it stands for, no clue to pronunciation.
    • Too concrete (love?), grammatical categories, hard work, ambiguous.
writing systems2
Writing Systems

1. Logographic: Each sign represents a word.

  • Ideograms: “Represent ideas rather than concrete objects” (p. 361)
    • Incorporate arbitrary symbolic reference.
  • Logogram: Symbols read as words, no longer recognizable as the things represented (Chinese).
writing systems3
Writing Systems

1. Logographic: Each sign represents a word.

  • The big transition: Through rebus sentences (“I see son”) the connection between symbols and sounds was made (Cuneiform, later hieroglyphics).
writing systems4
Writing Systems

2. Syllabic: Each sign represents a syllable.

  • Relatively smaller number of signs (Japanese, katakana or hiragana 46 symbols).
  • Literary Japanese incorporates kanji symbols (logographic).
  • Katakana used to write non-Japanese words and in advertising (syllable-initial or -final consonant clusters cause trouble).
writing systems5
Writing Systems
  • Alphabetic: Largely phonemic (does not respect details of allophones, e.g., pat, tap, apt).
    • Even fewer symbols. Universal applicability.
    • Phoenician: Consonants represented (whr r th vwls?).
    • Greeks: Added vowels, first true alphabet (one symbol-one sound, every sound represented).
writing systems6
Writing Systems
  • Robinson (2002): For a lost language, how can we tell which kind of writing system they used? Based on the number of symbols (from p. 42).
writing systems10
Writing Systems
  • Robinson (2002): How do you know how many symbols from a sample?

(L X L)

______ - L = number of characters

(L - M) in writing system

    • L = Number of characters in sample
    • M = Number of unique characters in sample.
writing systems11
Writing Systems
  • Samples from Snopes.com Urban Legends Reference Pages (http://66.165.133.65/college/admin/admin.asp).
writing systems13
Writing Systems
  • Sample 1:
  • Many students believe every college has regulations covering such circumstances, including detailed sets of rules that prescribe exactly how long students must wait based upon the academic "rank" (i.e., tenure and degree) of the tardy instructor. Surprisingly, although some schools do have an official "wait" rule, many institutions of higher learning have no official policies at all in this area, and we haven't found any college with written regulations specifying different wait times based upon instructors' academic rankings, which is the disputed point of this "everybody knows" factoid and the item on which our 'False' designation rests.
writing systems14
Writing Systems
  • Sample 2:
  • Although many schools will offer some sort of bereavement consideration under exceptional circumstances, no college or university in the United States has a policy awarding a 4.0 average (or anything else) to a student whose roommate dies. This rumor (or at least its widespread distribution) appears to be of fairly recent origin, dating from approximately the mid-1970s. It most likely started out as an expression of the pressures students feel to achieve good grades in the form of a morbid joke (i.e., "Even if the pressures of school cause some people to off themselves, there's no reason we can't profit by it!"), and the joke became legend when it was spread as true by credulous students, picking up variations along the way. A similar theme of suicide (and student grade consideration for witnessing it) can be found in the pencil suicide legend.
writing systems15
Writing Systems
  • Sample 3:
  • Introductory Chemistry at Duke has been taught for about a zillion years by Professor Bonk (really), and his course is semi-affectionately known as 'Bonkistry'. He has been around forever, so I wouldn't put it past him to come up with something like this. Anyway, one year there were these two guys who were taking Chemistry and who did pretty well on all of the quizzes and the midterms and labs, etc., such that going into the final, they had a solid A. These two friends were so confident going into the final that the weekend before finals week (even though the Chem final was on Monday), they decided to go up to UVirginia and party with some friends up there. So they did this and had a great time. However, with their hangovers and everything, they overslept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to Duke until early monday morning. Rather than taking the final then, what they did was to find Professor Bonk after the final and explain to him why they missed the final. They told him that they went up to UVa for the weekend, and had planned to
writing systems16
Writing Systems
  • Sample 3:
  • come back in time to study, but that they had a flat tire on the way back and didn't have a spare and couldn't get help for a long time and so were late getting back to campus. Bonk thought this over and then agreed that they could make up the final on the following day. The two guys were elated and relieved. So, they studied that night and went in the next day at the time that Bonk had told them. He placed them in separate rooms and handed each of them a test booklet and told them to begin. They looked at the first problem, which was something simple about molarity and solutions and was worth 5 points. "Cool" they thought, "this is going to be easy." They did that problem and then turned the page. They were unprepared, however, for what they saw on the next page. It said: (95 points) Which tire?
font design
Font Design
  • One source of constraint comes from the writing system.
  • Additional sources of constraint come from the font.
    • Legibility: How easily the letters can be perceived.
    • Readability: How fatigued a person gets.
    • Not necessarily at the forefront during design.
font design1
Font Design
  • Font features:
    • Serif vs. sans-serif (f vs. f)
    • Weight difference (e vs. e)
    • Bias
    • X-height
    • Spacing (proportional vs. non-proportional)
    • Proportions
font design2
Font Design
  • Features can influence identification, as in this (admittedly not ideal) example:
font design3
Font Design
  • Find the x:

N N Z N Z N Z N Z

Z N Z Z N Z Z N N

N N N Z N X N Z N

N N Z N Z N Z N Z

Z N Z Z N Z Z N N

font design4
Font Design
  • Find the x:

O O P O P O P O P

P O P P O P P P O

O O P P O X P O P

O O P O P O P O P

P O P P O P P P O

font design5
Font Design
  • Lanthier, Risko, Stolz, & Besner (2009; doi:10.3758/PBR.16.1.167):
    • In addition to features, information about how features combine is also important.
    • Delete information from midsegments:
    • Or vertices:
font design6
Font Design
  • Lanthier et al. (2009): The kind of information deleted mattered:
gestalt features
Gestalt Features
  • Also word envelope:
    • Hit
    • Hip
    • Elephant
    • Opportunity
orthography
Orthography
  • The writing system.
  • The font.
  • Also orthography: The spelling patterns.
orthography1
Orthography
  • Orthography: Rules for combining letters
    • Avoid doubling letters
    • To pronounce:
      • V C V
      • V C C V
      • V C
orthography2
Orthography
  • Orthography
    • To correct a V C pattern, add a dummy e
      • Fin, fine, can, cane
    • To correct a V C V pattern, double
      • Runing, running
  • Orthography can help with:
    • Pronunciation: mab, mabing, mabe, mabbing
    • Letter expectations
orthography3
Orthography
  • “Problems” with English spelling:
    • Some letters do not represent any sound (sign, give, through).
    • A group of two or more letters can represent a single sound (think).
    • A single letter can be two or more sounds (saxophone).
    • The same letter can represent different sounds in different words (one, bone, on).
    • The same sound can be different letters in different words (rude, loop, soup).
orthography4
Orthography
  • Why English spelling isn't so bad:
    • Meaning is more transparent:
      • Electric-electricity.
      • Insert-insertion.
      • Right-righteous.
      • Bomb-bombard.
      • Damn-damnation.
      • Produce-production.
orthography5
Orthography
  • Why English spelling isn't so bad:
    • Dialects: Different speakers would have different spelling systems (car-ca).
    • Homophones: Can tell them apart:
      • To, two, too.
      • Bare, bear.
      • No, know.
      • Flea, flee.
      • Sore, soar.
orthography6
Orthography
  • Reformed orthography:
    • Fainali, xen, after sam 20 iers ov orxogrephkl riform, we wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy spiking werld.
orthography7
Orthography
  • Reformed orthography:
    • For example, in Year 1 that useless letter 'c' would be dropped to be replased by either 'k' or 's', and likewise 'x' would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which 'c' would be retained would be the 'ch' formation, which will be dealt with later.
orthography8
Orthography
  • Reformed orthography:
    • Year 2 might reform 'w' spelling, so that “which” and “one” would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish 'y' replasing it with 'i' and Iear 4 might fiks the “g-j” anomali wonse and for all.
orthography9
Orthography
  • Reformed orthography:
    • Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali be posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant leterz 'c', 'y', and 'x'--bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderers--tu replas 'ch', 'sh', and 'th' rispektivli.
orthography10
Orthography
  • Reformed orthography:
    • Fainali, xen, after sam 20 iers ov orxogrephkl riform, we wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy spiking werld.
orthography constraints
Orthography Constraints
  • Orthography constraints help with letter identification.
  • Which would be easier to identify, a single letter or a letter in a word? E.g.,
    • d
    • word
orthography constraints1
Orthography Constraints
  • Word superiority effect: Letters are easier to identify in words than by themselves.
  • The explanation is that letters in words have two sources of constraint:
    • Bottom-up: The input.
    • Top-down: Word knowledge.
orthography constraints2
Orthography Constraints
  • Interactive activation model (McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981).
orthography constraints7
Orthography Constraints
  • Lanthier et al. (2009): When they put degraded letters into words in Experiment 3:
orthography constraints8
Orthography Constraints
  • Lanthier et al. (2009): Can you explain why the kind of deletion didn't matter in words?
orthography constraints9
Orthography Constraints
  • Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe. ceehiro. (c.f., http://www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/cambridge.asp)
orthography constraints10
Orthography Constraints
  • “It doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are.” Really? Or, is it cooked? Check out the scrambler: http://www.lerfjhax.com/scrambler
orthography constraints11
Orthography Constraints
  • I rescrambled the text:
    • Aidnoccrg to rsrceeah at an Egslnih urinsivety, it dseon't mttear in waht oderr the lteetrs in a wrod are, the olny ipmonatrt tnihg is taht fisrt and lsat ltteer is at the rihgt palce. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sltil raed it wuhoitt preolbm.
orthography constraints12
Orthography Constraints
  • OK. Let's try unfamiliar text:
    • Tihs was onriglaily caeertd a lnog tmie ago in rposnese to an off-tpioc cmnoemt in a Sosaldht aciltre taht I cn'at fnid any mroe. Snice tehn, i'ts been pssaed aunord a lot. I hvae no ieda how or why, but mnay tosdnauhs of polpee cmoe hree ecah week to sblarmce wodrs.
orthography constraints13
Orthography Constraints
  • First and last letters:
    • Gciarcdno ot esreacrh ta na Eilsngh evrsyuinti, ti eodsn't rettma ni hwta roedr teh relstte ni a rodw rae, eth nyol rpatotinm hitng si atht rftis nad satl tetrel si ta teh rihgt ecalp. Eht rets anc eb a toalt smse nda yuo nca lltis arde ti houtitw opmlrbe.
orthography constraints14
Orthography Constraints
  • And the unfamiliar text:
    • Isht aws inialrylog redtcea a lnog miet goa ni opersesn ot na ffo-tiocp nmmotce ni a Lshsatod tacrlei ttah I ctan' fidn yan meor. Ncise nthe, 'tsi eenb daspes dornau a lto. I haev on edia ohw ro wyh, ubt nyma dostansuh fo eeplop coem heer hcae ekwe ot cresmbla rwods.
orthography constraints15
Orthography Constraints
  • Clearly, the “first letters” claim has some validity. I would suggest that it gives two sources of constraint that still makes reading relatively easy:
    • Some of the letter order information is preserved in every word (word envelope).
    • Words of three letters or less are intact. Given the role of function words, that's a big deal.
orthography constraints16
Orthography Constraints
  • Relate this to the interactive activation model. How might it account for your being able to read scrambled words? Or, why might it have a problem accounting for this?
orthography constraints17
Orthography Constraints
  • Finally, consider the full implications of “it doesn't matter”:
    • Scrambled: uinervtisy.
    • Alphabetical order: ueiinrstvy.
    • Reverse order: utisreviny.
  • It may matter.
orthography constraints18
Orthography Constraints
  • Rayner, White, Johnson, & Liversedge (2006; doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01684.x):
    • It does matter.
      • Letter substitutions (data from Rayner & Kaiser, 1975).
      • Letter transpositions.
orthography constraints19
Orthography Constraints
  • Rayner et al. (2006): (Subtitutions; the word is “problem”; the dependent variable is reading time.)
orthography constraints20
Orthography Constraints
  • Rayner et al. (2006):
    • Substitutions also affected comprehension.
    • Conclude from that: “the specific letters of a word are critical for identifying what the word is” (p. 193).
orthography constraints21
Orthography Constraints
  • Rayner et al. (2006): (Transpositions.)
orthography constraints22
Orthography Constraints
  • Rayner et al. (2006): (Transpositions.)
orthography constraints23
Orthography Constraints
  • Rayner et al. (2006): (Transpositions.)
    • More fixations and longer fixations with transpositions.
    • Crossing morpheme boundaries with transpositions (e.g., susnhine vs. sunhsine, Christianson, Johnson, & Rayner, 2005) is worse yet.
orthography constraints24
Orthography Constraints
  • Rayner et al. (2006): (Transpositions.)
    • Conclusion: “although some transpositions do not entail as much added difficulty as others, there is always a cost involved in reading such text in comparison to normal text” (p. 193).
orthography constraints25
Orthography Constraints
  • Grainger & Whitney (2004; doi:10.1016/j.tics.2003.11.006):
    • Priming happens when primes have some subset of target word letters. But:
      • Shared letters must be in same order.
      • “grdn” primes “garden”, “pmts” does not, neither do “gdrn” and “nrdg”.
    • When primes share all of the letters with the target, some transposition is OK.
orthography constraints26
Orthography Constraints
  • Grainger & Whitney (2004):
    • Interactive activation can't account for this because it is letter position dependent.
    • Propose “open bigrams” account.
      • “TAKE” activates TA, TK, TE, AK, AE, KE. No precise letter position information encoded.
orthography constraints27
Orthography Constraints
  • Grainger & Whitney (2004):
    • Advantage of open bigrams:
    • Overlap between “only” and “olny” based on various coding schemes:
      • Interactive activation: 50%.
      • Traditional bigram coding: 20%.
      • Open bigram: 83%.
    • Open bigram approach better accounts for the data that it's not that hard to read these.
orthography constraints28
Orthography Constraints
  • Grainger & Whitney (2004):
orthography constraints29
Orthography Constraints
  • Grainger & Whitney (2004):
orthography constraints30
Orthography Constraints
  • Grainger & Whitney (2004):
    • To calculate degree of overlap you take the number of features in common and divide by the total number of features.
    • 5 / 6 = 83%.
orthography constraints31
Orthography Constraints
  • Grainger & Whitney (2004):
    • Overlap varies based on transpositions:
      • “porbelm”: 80%.
      • “wlohe”: 67%.
      • “bcuseae”: 53%.
    • They conclude that a lot of bottom-up information is still available.
orthography constraints32
Orthography Constraints
  • Grainger & Whitney (2004):
    • This leads to an obvious, testable prediction about difficulty, and allows us to measure our earlier assertions about “it doesn't matter”:
      • Scrambled: uinervtisy, 54%.
      • Alphabetical order: ueiinrstvy, 42%.
      • Reverse order: utisreviny, 50%.
orthography constraints33
Orthography Constraints
  • Wh4t about l33t speak?
  • 4|)V4|\|C3D l3e+$peA|< i$ whEn J00 +4lK L1K3 t|-|15. t0 u|\|[email protected]|\|D jOo |\/|u5+ be lEET. 1f J00 4r3 NO+ lEe+ jOO [email protected]|\|N0T 5p3A|< 0r ReAd +|-|I5. (Spacing.)
orthography constraints34
Orthography Constraints
  • Perea, Duñabeitia, & Carreiras (2008; doi:10.1037/0096-1523.34.1.237):
    • Prime words with various substitutions, look to see what happens.
    • If numbers are a separate system, how will they do in words?
    • Or, maybe due to all of the variation in input, people “normalize.”
    • Data from Experiment 2…
orthography constraints36
Orthography Constraints
  • Perea et al. (2008):
    • “words can be easily accessed in their leet form for readers with no prior knowledge of leet” (p. 240).
    • “Primes composed of letter-like symbols…are as effective as leet digits” (p. 240).
    • “access to lexical entries can be achieved somewhat independently of physical form, presumably on the basis of some top-down feedback that normalizes the visual input” (p. 240).
orthography constraints37
Orthography Constraints
  • Copied from earlier…
  • Rayner et al. (2006):
    • Substitutions also affected comprehension.
    • Conclude from that: “the specific letters of a word are critical for identifying what the word is” (p. 193).
constraints
Constraints
  • To sum up, we have a lot of constraints from this brief overview:
    • Writing systems.
    • Letter features.
    • How features combine.
    • Orthography
      • Spelling patterns and rules.
      • Open bigrams.
      • Top-down knowledge from words.
      • Other top-down influences (look at the “English university” passages).
reading components
Reading Components
  • Now, let's turn our attention to reading. What are the components of reading?
  • Eyetracking studies (Rayner & Sereno, 1994):
    • Three regions:
      • Foveal: High resolution, about 8 letters.
      • Parafoveal: Less acuity, some information available, about 12 (more?) letters.
      • Peripheral: Very low acuity, only gross information (e.g., ends of lines).
reading components1
Reading Components
  • Three parts:
    • Fixations: Gather information. Average 200-250 ms, range from 100-500 ms (partly a function of reader and partly a function of processing).
    • Saccades: Move to new fixation, about 8 characters, range from 1 to 15.
    • Regressions: Saccade to earlier part of the text, 10-15% of saccades.
reading components2
Reading Components
  • Short words (3 letters or fewer) much more likely to be skipped. 6 letters or more rare to be skipped, 8 letters almost never (Rayner & McConkie, 1976).
  • Content words fixated 83% of the time, function words 38% (Carpenter & Just, 1983).
reading components3
Reading Components
  • Still Rayner & Sereno (1994):
    • Perceptual span: Part from which useful information is obtained.
      • Moving window display: Only show part of the actual text, at the point where this causes trouble, you know you have the span.
      • 3-4 characters to the left (English).
      • 15 characters to the right.
      • Word identification span smaller, 5-7 characters to the right.
reading components4
Reading Components
  • Still Rayner & Sereno (1994):
    • Perceptual span:
      • Asymmetry a function of language. English readers more to the right, Hebrew readers more to the left.
      • Size of span a function of language, smaller for logographic.
      • Also affected by text difficulty.
      • Limited to current line of text.
reading components5
Reading Components
  • Miellet, O'Donnell, & Sereno (2009; doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02364.x):
    • Is perceptual span a function of acuity or attention?
      • Could be that you can't see it.
      • Could be that you are limited in how much you can attend to at once.
reading components6
Reading Components
  • Miellet et al. (2009):
    • Make it easier to see in the parafoveal region:
reading components7
Reading Components
  • Miellet et al. (2009):
    • The data suggested that the limitation comes more from attention than acuity. Making it bigger didn't help that much.
reading components8
Reading Components
  • Still Rayner & Sereno (1994):
    • Eye-mind span: How far cognition lags behind the eyes.
      • Immediacy assumption: All processing for a word done on that fixation.
      • Alternative: Some spillover.
        • The concerned steward calmed the child.
        • The concerned student calmed the child.
      • Steward lower in frequency, longer fixation. But, calmed also affected by this, so spillover.
reading factors
Reading Factors
  • Other stuff we need to consider that affects reading.
  • External factors:
    • Physical stimulation: The lighting and text characteristics.
    • Word frequency.
    • Sentence construction:
      • Sentence form (active easier than passive).
      • Length: Shorter easier.
      • Anaphors: Things that refer back take more.
reading factors1
Reading Factors
  • External factors:
    • Density of propositions (idea units): More is harder.
    • Text construction:
      • More coherence between propositions is better.
      • Story grammar.
      • Organization.
    • Content area: Some are easier.
    • External goal set: Why are you reading, imposed from without.
reading factors2
Reading Factors
  • Internal factors:
    • Schema knowledge and application: Events have a structure, there are knowledge structures that develop with familiarity in an area.
    • Procedural knowledge: Knowledge about reading.
    • Decoding ability: Getting from symbol to sound to meaning. “Reading comprehension = Decoding X Language comprehension” (Gough & Tunmer, 1986).
reading factors3
Reading Factors
  • Internal factors:
    • Viewpoint/purpose: Internal goal set.
    • Cognitive resources: Working memory is going to be the big one.
      • Capacity.
      • How you use the capacity.
      • Unfortunately, these two are closely connected. How to increase capacity is controversial, but may be possible. How to use it better is more malleable.
working memory
Working Memory
  • Measuring working memory: Sentence span (Daneman & Carpenter, 1980; doi:10.1016/S0022-5371(80)90312-6):
    • Due to his gross inadequacies, his position as director was terminated ABRUPTLY.
    • The child thought more about the war than his father who had been a HAT.
a sample model
A Sample Model
  • Just & Carpenter (1980):
    • Use eye-tracking data to develop a model of reading. Gaze duration reflects cognitive processing. Two assumptions:
      • Immediacy: Make decisions (guess even) before moving on.
      • Eye-mind: The mind is where the eye is.
a sample model1
A Sample Model
  • Just & Carpenter (1980):
a sample model3
A Sample Model
  • Just & Carpenter (1980):
    • Get next input: Generate saccade.
    • Word encoding and lexical access: Get word's information.
    • Assigning case roles: Who did what to whom? John pounded in the nail.John agent, nail patient.
a sample model4
A Sample Model
  • Just & Carpenter (1980):
    • Interclause integration: Connect clauses together.
    • Sentence wrap-up: Clear up ambiguities, etc.
a sample model5
A Sample Model
  • Just & Carpenter (1980):
    • Predict poor readers:
      • Lower working memory capacity.
      • Less efficient use (e.g., not as good at suppressing bad information).
working memory management
Working Memory Management
  • Gernsbacher, Varner, & Faust (1990):
    • He dug with the spade.
    • Final word ambiguous. What happens with respect to word meanings?
working memory management1
Working Memory Management
  • Gernsbacher, Varner, & Faust (1990):
working memory management2
Working Memory Management
  • Gernsbacher, Varner, & Faust (1990):
    • In general, activation of word meanings is fast and automatic, all are activated, inappropriate are suppressed.
    • It looks like poor readers have a hard time suppressing inappropriate information (word meanings).
graphology
Graphology
  • What does your handwriting say about you? I relied on the Research Methods Laboratory Manual for Psychology (Langston, 2010) for most of this…
    • Graphology is “the study of handwriting, especially when employed as a means of analyzing character” (Carroll, 2009, Graphology, para. 1).
graphology1
Graphology
  • What does your handwriting say about you?
    • Handwriting is “brainwriting”; it is “the unconscious mind” revealing itself; what is really in the person's mind (Goodwin, 2009).
graphology2
Graphology
  • What does your handwriting say about you?
    • Logic behind graphology: Handwriting is stable over time, not everyone makes their letters the same way, perhaps those variations in writing styles are meaningful. Personality is stable over time, if variations in handwriting are meaningful, then those handwriting styles might correspond to aspects of personality, revealing “insider” information about a person
graphology3
Graphology
  • Klimoski and Rafaeli (1983): three schools of graphology:
    • The trait school focuses on handwriting features.
    • The gestalt school focuses on overall analysis.
    • The Graphoanalysis approach combines features of the trait and gestalt schools.
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Graphology
  • What does your handwriting say about you?
    • As a for-instance, check:
    • http://hwa.org/
    • Complete a sample, look at the features, read the report.
    • Which school does this appear to be?
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Graphology
  • Klimoski and Rafaeli (1983): Evaluate reliability and validity of these approaches.
    • Reliability: Consistency of measurement.
    • Within a person: Is a person's handwriting relatively stable over time? Yes.
    • Between graphologists: Do different graphologists looking at the same handwriting reach the same conclusions? Yes-ish (pretty much, not perfect).
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Graphology
  • Klimoski and Rafaeli (1983): Evaluate reliability and validity of these approaches.
    • Validity: Are we measuring what we think we're measuring?
    • When a graphologist makes predictions from handwriting, are those predictions valid? Not so much.
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Graphology
  • Rafaeli and Klimoski (1983):
    • Predictions of sales success compared to supervisors' ratings, self ratings, monthly commission, number of monthly listings, number of monthly sales, the dollar amount of monthly sales, and a global measure of performance.
    • Graphological inferences did not predict performance. No significant correlations with any of the objective measures of performance.
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Graphology
  • Tett and Palmer (1997):
    • No evidence for Graphoanalysis as a valid predictor of personality traits.
  • Furnham and Gunter (1987):
    • Graphology did not predict personality.
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Graphology
  • Neter and Ben-Shakhar (1989):
    • Conducted a meta-analysis of validity studies investigating graphology.
    • “graphologists are not better than non-graphologists in predicting future performance on the basis of handwritten scripts”
    • “graphologists' results were much better when they analyzed content-laden material” (p. 743).
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Graphology
  • Ben-Shakhar et al. (1986):
    • Found that graphologists performed no better than non-graphologists when their evaluation was compared to supervisors' ratings, and graphologists were not able to predict professions based on handwriting.
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Graphology
  • Furnham, Chamorro-Premuzic, and Callahan (2003):
    • Handwriting from exams.
    • Compared to NEO-PI-R scores.
    • A coder scored 14 variables from the handwriting samples (such as connectedness, crossed t's, dotted i's). A second coder produced interjudge correlations ranging from .87 to 1.00.
    • Two intelligence measures.
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Graphology
  • Furnham, Chamorro-Premuzic, and Callahan (2003):
    • 14 handwriting features correlated with two measures of intelligence and five personality dimensions.
    • No correlations. Handwriting also could not predict personality or intelligence.
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Graphology
  • Why does it seem to work?
    • Confirmation biases:
      • Illusory correlations (e.g., angry or uptight people have angular handwriting) could then be sought out in the data, in an effort to confirm the hypothesis.
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Graphology
  • Why does it seem to work?
    • Metaphors:
      • Graumann (1983; cited in Greasley, 2000): A focus to the right (e.g., rightward slant) reflects being goal oriented (from trying to move forward); a focus to the left indicates egocentric (from being towards the writer).
      • Graumann (1983; cited in Greasley, 2000): large parts of letters below the line indicate a fixation with sexuality and urges (based on a metaphor from a tree with roots below).
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Graphology
  • Why does it seem to work?
    • Barnum effects (fallacy of personal validation).
      • “You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside.” (Forer, 1949)
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Graphology
  • Why does it seem to work?
    • Barnum effects (fallacy of personal validation).
      • Vague, generally positive statements that can be true of anyone are often interpreted as being very accurate descriptions.
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Graphology
  • Why does it seem to work?
    • Because it gets some information right.
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Graphology
  • Why does it seem to work?
    • Because it gets some information right.
      • First male, second female. You can tell that from handwriting.
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Graphology
  • Can it be used to detect lies? Tang (2012) says “yes.”
    • Analyze features of handwriting…
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Graphology
  • To evaluate, people looked at three kinds of texts (no lie, plausible lie, outrageous lie).
  • Half of the people had the features to look for, half received not instructions.
  • Will people using Tang’s (2012) system do better?
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