Projections of Who You Are: Hermann Rorschach's Inkblot Test

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Projections Of Who You Are (Article)

Hermann Rorschach developed his form interpretation test, also known as the inkblot test, in 1884. This was one of the earliest versions of a type of psychological assessment tool known as a projective test. The two most widely used projective tests are the inkblot test and the Thematic Test.

Everyone’s perceptions are influenced by psychological factors. Rorschach suggested that the inkblot test presents a person with an ambiguous shape of picture, and assumes that the person will project his or her inner or unconscious psychological processes on it. The projective technique could serve as two main purposes. One, it would be used as a research tool to reveal unconscious aspects of personality. The other would be to diagnose various types of psychopathology. Rorschach’s technique proposed that in the course of interpreting a random inkblot test, attention would be drawn away from the person, so that his or her usual psychological defenses would be weakened. This would allow normally revealed hidden aspects of the psyche to be revealed.

Rorschach’s formulation of his inkblot test can be divided into two sections. One, the process used to develop the original forms. And two, the methods suggested for interpreting and scoring the responses made by participants or clients.

To discover how various groups of people might perform differently on the inkblot test, Rorschach administered it to individuals from several psychological groups such as normal individuals, schizophrenic patients, and individuals diagnosed with manic-depression. He found that depressed individuals gave fewer answers, those who were happy gave more, and schizophrenic patients’ answers varied from person to person. Rorschach claimed that his test was often able to indicate schizophrenic tendencies, hidden neuroses, a potential for depression, characteristics of introversion versus extroversion, and intelligence. However, he did not propose...
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