June Downey

American psychologist

June Etta Downey (13 July 1875 – 11 October 1932) was an American psychologist who studied personality and handwriting. Downey was born and raised in Laramie, Wyoming, where she received her degree in Greek and Latin from the University of Wyoming. Throughout her life Downey wrote seven books and over seventy articles. Included in this work, Downey developed the Individual Will-Temperament Test, which was one of the first tests to evaluate character traits separately from intellectual capacity and the first to use psycho-graphic methods for interpretation.

Speculation must wait upon the facts
Handwriting bearing as it does the cachet of individuality.
A résumé of the work that has already been done has perhaps its value at the present time.
The handwriting of any individual would be found to resemble the characteristic tracings shown by his pulse and respiration and fatigue curves.
Experimental work that seeks to induce variation in writing through a control of outer conditions must in time correlate certain definite variations in conditions with variation in such aspects of writing as size, speed, accuracy in alignment, inequality of control and the like.

QuotesEdit

  • Speculation must wait upon the facts.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 153
  • Doubtless the day is far in the future when we shall be able to solve such historical enigmas.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 156

about HandwritingEdit

  • Handwriting, bearing as it does the cachet of individuality, has always interested those to whom things human make their intimate appeal. Curious observations relative to it have long been current, the existence, for instance, of national as well as family and personal chirographics; the perversions of it that take form as mirror writing or even—it is said—as inverted writing; the whimsy shown by the bizarre characters, by the tendency to irrelevant and extravagant flourishes in the writing of those suffering from certain forms of mental disorder. Attention has been called to the similarity existing between a man's handwriting and the manner in which he walks or gesticulates. It has been claimed that age and sex and profession leave their impress upon writing, that the pen craft of the painter mirrors minutely the grace and distinction that marks the sweep of his brush across the canvas.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 147
  • The handwriting of any individual would be found to resemble the characteristic tracings shown by his pulse and respiration and fatigue curves. Nor is the interest in the variational aspect of handwriting restricted to recording the diversities in penmanship from individual to individual; it is also engaged in noting variations from day to day in the handwriting of any given person under the influence of fatigue or emotion or disease. But, however numerous, such observations and however legitimate the speculations they engender, it remains for the physiologist and the psychologist, with the aid perhaps of the sociologist, to compass the scientific study of the variational factor in handwriting.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 147
  • A resume of the work that has already been done has perhaps its value at the present time.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 148
  • We are here brought face to face with the old question that has confronted all investigators of sex-differences. It is evident, however, that the question of the social environment is, in this instance, a controlling one not merely in the discussion of the revelation of sex in handwriting, but also in that of the revelation of intelligence; for there exists a peculiar environment for talent as well as for sex. Indeed, it appears that the investigation of handwriting must be socio-psychological in nature. Unconscious imitation, social suggestibility doubtless play an important, if not all-important, part in determining writing characteristics. On the whole, therefore, it is not surprising that the experts were more successful in distinguishing marked differences in intelligence than in determining the nature of the individual superiority. They perceived the class characteristic, as it were.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 149
  • In any case it is evident that there is a psychology as well as a sociology of handwriting. Tremendously complicated as the problem of diagnosis of individual traits from those tiny strokes of the pen appears, it is yet a legitimate problem of science; for the more progress psychology makes, the more evident it becomes that there is not a mode of expression which is not rooted to its finest detail in the complex psycho-physical organism. Meanwhile, it is fortunate that the task of identifying graphic signs should not be left wholly to the intuitions of the graphologist. Experimental work that seeks to induce variation in writing through a control of outer conditions must in time correlate certain definite variations in conditions with variation in such aspects of writing as size, speed, accuracy in alignment, inequality of control and the like.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 150-151
  • Variation in the amplitude of written characters involves doubtless many important considerations relative to the facilitation and inhibition of movement.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 151
  • Writing with attention preoccupied or distracted results variously in the enlargement or dwarfing of characters, an alternative result that seems to depend upon deep-seated tendencies of the individual.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 151
  • If it should be shown further that this difference cuts through all the mental activities of the human being, progress would have been made in the difficult matter of the classification of mental types.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 151
  • The relation of the inner word to the outer visible one has long interested psychologists.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 152-153
  • Variation in expression under emotional disturbance has long been a special subject of experiment. Little attempt, however, has been made to compare the results so obtained with the appearance of writing under emotional tension. To be sure, the graphologists cite a tendency to elevate progressively the line of writing as an evidence of mental exaltation, of joy or ambition, while a fall in the alignment is indicative of the depressive emotions, self-distrust, sadness, melancholy. Again, a strongly marked tendency toward centrifugal or centripetal movements is held to indicate, on the one hand, ardor, simplicity, activity, uprightness, and, on the other hand, slowness, lack of spontaneity, egoism.
    • August 1909, Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, Article:"The Varificational Factor in Handwriting", p. 154

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
  • Popular Science Monthly Volume 75, edited by: J. McKeen Cattell, The Science Press, New York, 1909