Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Self-Stereotypes and Handwriting

Abstract: (...) Handwriting samples of 20 Ss (mean age 71 yrs) were randomly selected, with half of the sample taken from individuals who had been subliminally exposed to positive stereotypes of aging while the other half was taken from individuals who had been subliminally exposed to negative stereotypes of aging. The handwriting samples were produced both before and after the priming. 40 individuals (aged 16–36 yrs) then judged the handwriting samples according to how much they felt the samples were characterized by six attributes: accomplished, confident, deteriorating, senile, shaky, and wise. The age of each writer was also guessed. Results found that judges were able to distinguish the writers who had been exposed to the negative stereotypes from those exposed to positive stereotypes. It is concluded that self-stereotypes influence mental functioning and behavior in the elderly. (...)

- Levy, B. (2000). Handwriting as a reflection of aging self-stereotypes. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 33(1), 81–94.
- photograph by Leon Levinstein via