Widths and distances in handwriting

In attempting to define a complex ability such as intelligence we refer to a fascinating and also very controversial field of psychological research, in which there are perhaps more questions than effective answers.
We all think that we know how to recognise who is intelligent from who isn't on the basis of an obvious intuitive knowledge, but the systematic evaluation, carried out by rigorous experimentation, of this dimension of personality has proved too intricate to be dealt with by means of a direct and unitary approach. What we consider a faculty seems to be, in many experimental contexts, the product of a group of abilities, the combination of which we give the name intelligence. Nevertheless it is a common observation that a general factor of intelligence also exists which is able to influence all the single intellectual abilities (as well as the social ones), but this basic intellectual potential is so difficult to identify that we end up by not speaking of its existence. For this reason psychological manuals avoid defining what intelligence is, in that it is something which is still too dependent on the definitions of individual researchers to permit generalisations in principle, and attention is therefore concentrated on that which is normally measured by means of intelligence tests; it is clear that it is not the same thing, even though the two things are connected in some way.
The extreme difficulty in defining – at a psychological level – what is intelligence is also in the underlying conviction that it is independent from the specific process of acculturation to which the individual is subjected. Intelligence, in fact, is considered as being strongly conditioned by the heredity, but dependent on environmental stimuli in its development.
In this sense we specify what intelligence is not: it is not merely the result of training defined as an acculturation process, though without this it cannot fully express itself, and it is not necessarily of a verbal type, even though tests, being mainly verbal, often finish by measuring only this aspect of specific sectoral competence.

Moretti, in outlining the problem of analysing intellectual potential, which constitutes the foundation of intelligence, formulated a theoretical and methodological approach in line with the problems that have emerged within western psychology: intelligence is not a faculty, it is made up of a series of fundamental components that together determine the quantity and the qualities of individual intellectual potential, that in order to be realised also depends on the motivational dispositions that activate (or not) the given potential. A very diversified approach, therefore, which allows us, at any moment, to clarify what is the aspect of intelligence that is being assessed.
As we have seen, Moretti distinguishes firstly the quantity from the qualities of intelligence, and the widths and spacing refer directly to the quantitative aspect while the qualitative and motivational aspects must be searched for elsewhere.
At graphological level the following are taken into consideration:

  1. the width of the letters as an indicator of the potential profundity of intelligence;
  2. the spacing between the letters as an effective indicator of the openness of sentiment and consequently of the openness of intelligence;
  3. the spacing between the words as an indicator of the disposition towards criticism, and towards argument.

Handwriting sample: width, spacing between the letters, spacing between the words

The basic intellectual potential, given by the combination of these three dimensions, constitutes an indicator which is, first and foremost, quantitative in the sense that it explores the dimensions of the psyche connected with what a certain mind is able to embrace, which is the same as saying what it can conceive inside itself.
Conceiving means knowing how to open enough to embrace the vastness of phenomena and causes in play in the world by means of profundity of intelligence (Letter width), that must not be held back by an over fussy sentiment or emptied by a too generous sentiment (Spacing between letters) because both would hinder objective research. The openness of intelligence (Letter width) and the openness of sentiment (Spacing between letters) must also be supported by adequate critical abilities, that know how to place all the elements considered and encompassed in a rigorous game of logical relations (Spacing between words), otherwise intelligence maintains only the disposition to profundity, but not the argumentative strength of the vision's profundity.
The complex game of interrelation between these three dimensions of the psyche constitutes that which is defined 'triple width' as an indicator of the individual mental strength.
To this basic intellectual potential the specific qualities of intelligence are then added. For example the originality, indicated by the sign 'Methodically uneven', the disposition to psychology or technique, clarity or confusion, calm or intuitive impulse, etc., are all elements that come into the game of qualitative and more specifically aptitude combinations.
Finally, the motivational dispositions bring their essential contribution so that intelligence, in its specific quantity and qualities, can move through the world and contribute to the world's enrichment by its appearance: in this sense the power of motivation to emerge and perfect itself is evaluated (A Angles for the push towards competition and B Angles for steadfastness), the disposition to constancy and/or inflexibility, or conversely to surrender and lack of commitment.
By means of this interlacing of quantitative dispositions, qualitative dispositions and motivational dispositions the Morettian method manages to define a complex phenomenon such as intelligence in a very complete and detailed way.
We shall now look at the three dispositions of the psyche that determine the basic intellectual potential.

This page has the following sub pages.