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Effects of Different Postural Conditions on Handwriting Variability
Journal of Forensic Document Examination
During their career, forensic document examiners will inevitably be confronted with handwriting carried out under unusual conditions (UnC). A questioned document signed on top of a car or on a vertical surface like a wall are two examples. These atypical circumstances may give rise to more variability of the signatures or written words, in particular if the body was in non-traditional writing position without the traditional support. Few studies were devoted to handwriting variability under unusual writing conditions. The current study investigates whether individual variability changes with special writing conditions. In a previous study (Sciacca & al, 2009), we found that eight repetitions were sufficient to obtain a correct estimation of the variance. In the present study, twelve subjects were asked to write two word sets eight times in upper and eight times in lower case, under different conditions : sitting and writing on a horizontal (usual condition UC) or vertical support; and standing, kneeling or laying while writing on a horizontal or vertical support (unusual conditions UnC). Words were written on a pen tablet, normalized in space and time and then averaged. The variance of the eight words was measured under all conditions. Results showed only an increase in variability under the laying and kneeling / vertical UnC. Within the five other postural conditions tested, handwriting was shown to be very stable.
Handwriting, Within-subject variability, Between-subject variability, Writing conditions, Uppercase, Lowercase
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