Cursive handwriting is, I submit, linked significantly to the human brain. Logic might indicate that it is simply a pattern reflecting thought unique to a particular brain but my own experience leads me to conclude that handwriting is a complete feedback loop. In other words, instruction in and practice with handwriting can influence psychology, and not just the reverse.
That probably sounds a little nutty, but there is evidence. Observing my own writing in my youth I noticed how it progressed from juvenile to mature through my teens and into my twenties. As I grew in confidence, so did my handwriting, with the greatest changes occurring during my twenties, and by the time it stabilized I noticed another thing. My cursive script was nearly identical to my mother’s! (This happened of course when people still wrote letters to one another.) Clearly there is a strong genetic link to this.
When our identical twin sons went to college, their hands were still pretty juvenile as well (but not at all identical). I mentioned to them my idea of the feedback loop and suggested that they should practice their scripts in a way so as to project more confidence, particularly in their signatures. They did and the differences over a couple of years were striking. There’s no way to prove that this worked of course, but I’m convinced that it did. If handwriting is the mirror of the personality, is the personality affected when that outlet is removed?
This also leads me to wonder whether declining education in cursive writing might be leaving a deficit in both personality-building and general learning ability. I think the decline of rote learning may be having a similar effect, as in the memorization of historical and geographic facts and arithmetic operations for example. Rote learning, it seems to me, builds important fodder for brain activity that also has a feed-back effect. Could this be a factor in the decline of the quality of education? I for one think so.
I was prompted to write on this subject by the musings of my Canadian blogging colleague at Archon’s Den. He provides an entertaining view of it at this link.