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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 186084 Find in a Library
Title: Influence of Writing Fatigue on Handwriting Characteristics in a Selected Population Part One: General Considerations
Journal: International Journal of Forensic Document Examiners  Volume:5  Dated:December/January 1999  Pages:193-220
Author(s): G. Poulin
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 28
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: The handwriting of any individual is subject to a wide range of intrinsic and extrinsic causes of variation; the main purpose of this research project was to verify whether variation induced by extreme writing fatigue can modify a person's handwriting sufficiently to impair the work of the document examiner.
Abstract: The research was a preliminary study that would establish the usefulness of a much more detailed investigation. Included in this report are the most important characteristics observed as well as selected extracts from each of the 23 writers. The preliminary observations of the most noticeable variations caused by fatigue were broken down into three types of observations: the variations of the arrangement of the handwriting; the changes brought to the fundamental strokes; and the introduction of writing errors. The study found that writers with good writing speed and above-average writing skill completed the entire test without important departure from their normal handwriting characteristics. The writers with lower speed and writing skills departed rapidly from their original characteristics as soon as they attempted to improve their writing speed. The result was a rapid tiring of writers with the degeneration of handwriting characteristics to the extent that it may impair it's forensic comparison. Among the handwriting features most likely to be modified by fatigue were the following: departure from writing line, increase in absolute size of writing, increase in the relative size of letters, increase in the length of lower and/or upper strokes, increase in the lateral spacing between letters and words, and a general increase in the speed of writing. 6 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Document analysis; Forensic sciences; Handwriting analysis
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