Take the 2-minute tour ×
Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My daughter (11), wife, and mother in-law all have extremely similar handwriting.

Why is this? Is handwriting a inheritable trait?

share|improve this question
1  
It would probably be easier to answer the question if you made it more general and less personal: "Is handwriting heritable?" could be an alternative. –  Keegan Keplinger Jan 12 at 21:40

3 Answers 3

Your discussing the cog sci called graphology. It doesn't really work in general cases but its a nice idea. I would say its a happy accident that they look alike. My letter R look like my father's R because I wanted to please him at that age so I mimicked his handwriting.

Graphology is the study of handwriting. As a theory or practice for inferring a person's character, disposition, and attitudes from their handwriting, graphology is generally considered pseudoscience.

Graphology has been controversial for more than a century. Although supporters point to the anecdotal evidence of thousands of positive testimonials as a reason to use it for personality evaluation, most empirical studies fail to show the validity claimed by its supporters.

-wikipedia

share|improve this answer

Thing is, when we look at something for a while, it influences us to, in some ways, follow it. If I am not mistaken, a similar principle works for yawning and how a person can yawn just by looking at someone else who does. I wish to elucidate with a personal experience. In my high school, there was this girl with amazing handwriting. I got down with the pox so I used her notes to study. And soon, I realized I have started writing a bit like her. My letter were slightly tilted (hers was at a precise 80 degrees and was consistent across the page) and more cursive. My work became more neat like hers and far more presentable. And I wasn't making a conscious effort to mimic her handwriting at all. It just happens.


This might help to explain what I am trying to say a bit better, although it is not about writing, I think it can be extrapolated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NpG4F9yq00


share|improve this answer

I don't know of any particular research that's looked at this, but based on general principles, I'd conjecture:

  • If a mother teaches their child to write, then it makes sense that they could share a handwriting style.
  • Within a society, there may be shared educational practices about how handwriting is taught, which could lead to similar writing styles. That said, such practices appear to change over generations.
  • I imagine that writing style is culturally specific. That said, some traits that are heritable might be relevant to writing style. For example, various abilities often have a genetic component. In particular, various forms of fine motor control might be relevant to writing ability and style.
  • Why any two people have similar handwriting could just be a coincidence.
share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.