This paper presents a new method for the analysis of hyper-Raman vibrational spectra. It is shown that, by irradiating the sample with circularly polarized light, the measurement of two polarization ratios suffices for a complete analysis of vibrational symmetry. For this purpose a simple graphical method is introduced which can be applied for any convenient scattering geometry. Using this method, it is possible to test experimentally some of the assumptions in earlier hyper-Raman theories. These principles are illustrated by references to several specific molecular vibrations.