Handwriting Can Help Detect Liars!

One can tell who is a liar and who is not by analyzing handwriting. How? Because, people who write lies press harder on the paper, have longer pen strokes and produce taller letters than those writing the truth. No, this is not my assumption, but the findings of a scientific study that was recently published in the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology. And the study concludes that yes, handwriting can be used to detect lies.

Writing Tells Lies

The unique study was conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Haifa, Israel. For the study, the researchers asked 34 volunteers to write two short paragraphs, one recalling a real memory, the other a fictitious event. For writing, a wireless electronic pen with a pressure-sensitive tip was provided to the volunteers.

After analyzing the writings, the researchers then found those who wrote lies (about the fictitious event) pressed harder on the paper, had longer pen strokes and produced taller letters than those telling the truth. It means our handwriting tells the state of our mind?

But why? Why handwriting changes when we lie? The researchers thinks that while writing lies the human brain works harder to invent facts, which in turn interfere with normal writing process. So, in the case of false writing, the average pressure, stroke length and height were significantly higher than in the true writing condition.

"A lie detector that analyzes handwriting has many advantages over the existing detectors, since it is less threatening for the person being examined, is much more objective and does not depend on human interpretation. The system also provides measures that the individual has difficulty controlling during performance. This is certainly a system that can improve - alongside the existing detectors - our ability to identify lies," the researchers concluded.

Though the research is in it's early stage, the usability of a handwriting-based verification system is very promising. I hope that someday there will be some kind of devices that can quickly scan handwriting to detect lies.