Pseudo Scientific Methods of selection - PHRENOLOGY - GRAPHOLOGY - PHYSIOGNOMY

Pseudo-Scientific Methods of Selection: In the past, and to some extent even now, stereotyped impressions of personality and characteristics were used as a basis of selection. These impressions were gathered through pseudo-scientific methods, like phrenology, physiognomy and graphology. Evaluating the abilities of a human being is an extremely difficult task. This fact has not entirely prevented the use of various techniques of quick appraisal, some of which are well organized can be called "pseudosciences." Among such practices are phrenology (skull protrusions), physiognomy (facial features), astrology (birth date), and graphology (handwriting).

Most people do not consciously practice any of these pseudosciences, but many have favourite techniques of their own. We must emphasize that there is no easy shortcut to the accurate evaluation of a human being under any circumstances.

Facts [+]

According to, the typical personality type in the HR field is described as: cautious, gentle, and thoughtful; hesitant until they know people well then affectionate and caring; very literal and aware of the physical world; uncompromising about personal standards and easily offended; diligent and conscientious, organized and decisive.


Which focuses on personality and character, Phrenology is the study of the structure of the skull to determine a person's character and mental capacity. In this science in which the personality traits of a person were determined by "reading" bumps and fissures in the skull. Developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall around 1800 .Phrenologists would run their fingertips and palms over the skulls of their patients to feel for enlargements or indentations. The phrenologist would usually take measurements of the overall head size using a caliper. With this information, the phrenologist would assess the character and temperament.


The term ’graphology’ was first used by the Frenchman Michon in 1875, from the Greek ‘grapho’ meaning I write, and ‘logos’ meaning theory. The study of handwriting and its analysis was first developed by the Chinese 3,000 years ago. The Romans used graphology is the study and analysis of handwriting especially in relation to human psychology. It is now an accepted and increasingly used technique for assessment of people in organizations. Handwriting analysis is an effective and reliable indicator of personality and behaviour, and so is a useful tool for many organizational processes, for example: recruitment, interviewing and selection, team-building, counseling, and career-planning. Handwriting must be studied taking into consideration the size and slant of letters, word spacing, line spacing the way zones are used, pressure and margins applied.


Small size hand writing

Such persons are meticulous and observant, reserved and restrained. They are mentally alert but lack self-confidence.

Large size

Such persons are bold and aggressive. They are ambitious, enthusiastic and extrovert. Lacks concentration and discipline. Strongly motivated, confident and optimistic.

Moderate size

Such persons are conservative, conventional and traditional, practical and realistic. They are honest, sincere, adaptable and moderate in attitude.

Variable size

Such persons are moody and quick-tempered. They are indecisive and inconsistent. They are naive and immature, unpredictable and emotionally off-balance.

Extreme Left Slant

  • Such persons have a repressed

  • Child hood and are fearful of the life itself.

  • They are emotionally withdrawn,

  • Apprehensive of intimacy and defensive.

  • This pattern indicates insecurity and impulsiveness.

  • Such persons are sensitive, possessive and intense.

  • At times they are unrestrained and capable of hysteria.

Heavy Pressure

Such persons are aggressive, possessive violent and egoistic. They are creative enthusiastic, sensuous and enduring. It shows an emotionally strong and deeply committed person

Light pressure

Such persons are sensitive, tender, tolerant, spiritual, adaptable and forgiving. They are passively indifferent, weak-willed and lack vitality. It indicates physically weak and fragile person who prefers pastel colors.


Is the assessment of a person's character or personality from their outer appearance, especially the face. The term physiognomy can also refer to the general appearance of a person, object or terrain, without reference to its implied characteristics.

The practice was well-accepted by the ancient Greek philosophers but fell into disrepute in the Middle Ages when practiced by vagabonds and mountebanks. It was then revived and popularized by Johann Kaspar Lavater before falling from favour again in the 20th century. It is now being revived again as some new research indicates that people's faces can indicate such traits as trustworthiness, social dominance and aggression.

The latter trait seems to be determined by the level of the hormone testosterone during puberty which affects the ratio between the height and width of the face - aggressive individuals are found to have wider faces.

Physiognomy of Men

  • Height: A tall man is usually a symbol of good personality of man. A tall man with well-proportioned body parts is lucky and leads a comfortable life. A short statured man is sexy in nature; often he is clever and cunning.

  • Head : If the head is round and big in size, it denotes that such a person will be a good administrator and will hold a good position in life. When the head is level and full of hair, it indicates an intelligent, witty nature full of good qualities. If the head is more broad than long, it means that such a person will be unlucky and devoid of wealth. If the head is small, the person will be devoid of intelligence and will not be so lucky.

  • Ears: When the ears of a man are small in size, it indicates his foolish nature. a long eared person is very often intelligent. If the ears are twisted and hard like stone, the person will be stout of body and wrestler. If the ear frame is thin, the person will either be a king or a scholar, but if it is thick, he will be a cheat, unreliable and may commit evil acts.

Physiognomy of Women

  • Eyebrows: When the eyebrows are like a bow and the hair is soft, black and neither scanty nor bushy, that is the sign not only of beauty but also of good luck and strong character. When the eyebrows are hairless or have scanty hair, it is an omen of bad luck. When eyebrows join in centre above the nose it is a sign of widowhood. Such a woman is wicked and a cheat. If the eyebrows are straight, lengthy, thick, ill formed and reddish, with broken joints, it indicates an unlucky woman. When the eyebrows are curved and bent over the eyelids, black coloured, soft, of even thickness, it is a sign of a lucky damsel.

  • Hair: Long, dark hair is considered as part of beauty. Shoulder length hair (naturally) indicates a self-praising, envious and jealous woman. If the hair is red in color, the woman is considered to be harsh tempered, quarrelsome and ill natured. Black and curly hair indicates that the woman is lucky and wealthy. A woman with thick, coarse, short and rough hair is considered to have bad luck. When hair is soft, silky, thin, dark, very long up to knees, it is an indication of beauty and good luck.

  • Nose: If the nose of a woman is hooked like a parrot, she is good natured, enjoys fame, is clever and a well-wisher of her family. A straight nose and of normal length makes a woman beautiful, wise, witty and diligent. A woman with a small nose is cunning, shrewd, mischievous and lustful. If the nose is depressed in the middle, the front part very high, crooked or very fat, then such a woman will be devoid of love and sympathy. she will be wicked, cruel, loose in character and hasty in decision. If the nostrils are fat and wide, the woman will be lazy, strong headed, proud and fond of a pleasurable life. If the tip of the nose is small, the woman will pass her life as a slave. If the tip of the nose is long, she will be of harsh temperament. If the tip is depressed, it is an omen for longevity of her husband. If there is hair on her nose, she is shrewd and unlucky.

Facts [+]

Having easy-to-pronounce name can propel you up career ladder

Researchers from Melbourne and New York universities have carried out the study and found that people with simple easy- to-say names are likely to fare better in careers than those with a tongue twister.

The study found that discriminating against a hard-to- pronounce name is not deliberate but a subconscious prejudice.

"Having a simple, easy-to-pronounce name is more likely to win you friends and favour in the workplace. The effect is not due merely to the length of a name or how foreign-sounding or unusual it is, but rather how easy it is to pronounce.