Quite often I hear claims that all else being equal a handwritten letter triggers more empathy in the reader compared to a printed letter so it's sometimes beneficial to use handwriting.

See for example:

A handwritten, or typed and signed, letter is far more effective than photocopied form letters, postcard campaigns or emails. Some politicians regard handwritten letters more highly than typewritten letters

Is there any scientific evidence backing up such claims?


This study is more of an indirect answer to the question.

It suggests:

people are more willing to lie when communicating via e-mail, than when communicating via pen and paper

(the theoretical background for this is Albert Bandura's mechanisms of Moral Disengagement).

That people are less willing to lie in a handwritten message suggests that they regard it more highly than an email.

It seems like there is more of a 'human connection ' with handwritten letters.

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  • while not backed-up with any research I can find, anecdotally (primarily from personal observation), it is much harder to lie when writing by hand as tremble can be deduced from the writing style (especially if you have experience with the writer's corpus of previous handwriting). – warren Apr 25 '11 at 14:49

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