The Tat: the Thematic Apperception Test

Better Essays
The TAT: The Thematic Apperception Test

Suzette Lamb

Argosy University

The TAT test was developed in the 1930s by psychologists Henry A. Murray, Christiana D. Morgan and other colleagues at the Harvard Psychological Clinic. The TAT Test or Thematic Apperception Test is a projective psychological test used to explore the unconscious of an individual in order to reveal the underlying parts of personality, internal conflicts, motives and interests. It has been one of the most widely used, taught and researched of tests of its kind (Combs, 1946).
The test evolved over approximately a decade in the 1930’s and 1940’ after a rocky start and three distinct revisions. An earlier manuscript titled “A Method for the Investigation of Unconscious Phantasies”, that was submitted in 1934, was rejected for publication by the editor of the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis by Ernest Jones.
Two important influences in the creation of this test were thought to be an undergraduate student, Cecilia Roberts and the American author Thomas Wolfe.
Cecilia was one of Murray’s students and was having difficulty in a study she was conducting comparing fantasies of blind people and sighted people. She tried to get her son to tell him her fantasies but he thought it was silly until she asked him to make up a story about a picture. When Cecilia talked to Murray about the vivid imagery in the story her son told her about the picture, Murray started working on the TAT (Morgan, 2002).
Thomas Wolfe’s book ‘Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life’, was read by Murray as he was seen carrying the book to several lectures by a student, Nevitt Sanford. Sanford studied and worked at the Harvard Psychological Clinic and contributed to the TAT. When he read the book himself, he believed that there was an episode in the book that suggested the TAT method to Murray (Morgan, 2002).
While there has not been as much standardization and objective analysis on the TAT as other



References: Ávila-Espada, A. (1996). Objective administration and scoring for the TAT. Salamanca, Spain: Departamento de Personalidad, Evaluación y Tratamiento Psicológicos. Combs, A. W. (1946). A method of analysis for the thematic apperception test and autobiography Cramer, P. (1996). Storytelling, narrative, and the thematic apperception test. New York: Guilford Press. E.M. Squyres, &. R. (1982). A Measure of Time Perspective with the TAT and Some Issues of Reliability Lundy, A. (1988). Instructional Set and Thematic Apperception Test Validity. Journal of Personality Assessment , 52(2), 309. Morett, E. R. (1997). Thematic apperception test (TAT) interpretation: Practice recommendations from a survey of clinical psychology doctoral programs Morgan, W. G. (2002). Origin and history of the earliest thematic apperception test pictures

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Thematic Apperception Test

    • 2753 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Thematic Apperception Test Olive Jane M. De Leon BS Psychology 3-5 The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), is a projective psychological test. Proponents of this technique assert that a person's responses reveal underlying motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world through the stories they make up about ambiguous pictures of people.[1] Historically, it has been among the most widely researched, taught, and used of such tests.[2] History The TAT was developed during the 1930s…

    • 2753 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    For this test I only used two pictures those being one of a man that appears to be naked hanging from a rope. Emily’s reaction to this photo included confusion, uncertainty, and unhappiness. Emily did not think that the head belonged to the body and believed the picture to be creepy and strange, overall she had a negative opinion about this specific picture. The second of the two TAT photos shown to Emily was a picture of what appears to be a silhouette…

    • 991 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Thematic Apperception Test for Personality Assessment Karen Y. Long Park University Test and Measurement September 2010 Abstract The history of the Thematic Apperception Test is controversial. This test was published in 1943 and is still widely used today. Being able to look at a photo card as a stimulus for storytelling was a breakthrough for personality testing. This test has its share of controversy as far as reliability, validity and cultural implications. Key words; thematic, validity…

    • 1708 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Henry A. Murray: The Thematic Apperception Test R.F Molloy College Henry A. Murray: The Thematic Apperception Test In reading 36, from the book “Forty studies that changed Psychology: Explorations into the history of Psychological Research” by Roger R. Hock, Henry A. Murray is introduced as a Psychotherapist who creates a method of testing a person’s personality and subconscious, thoughts, desires, and fantasies; otherwise known as a “projective” test (Hock, R). Murray and his partner, Christiana…

    • 887 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    • What do the stories tell you: o How the person views the world • When dealing with kids always look for issues of safe and supportive o How the person views parental figures • Superficial/unavailable/untrustworthy • Enjoyable/supportive/talented/available o How the person sees themselves • Vulnerable/fragile/unattractive/inept/lonely/entitled/ • Talented/attractive/clever o How the person views relationships • Unsupportive/hurtful/missing/distant/insincere • Ease/difficulty with which…

    • 473 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Rorschach vs. Tat

    • 961 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Between the Rorschach and TAT It seems as if there aren’t nearly as many similarities as there are differences. From our text, we can see that both the Rorschach and the TAT (Thematic Apperception Test) are projective tests. Projective tests can be seen as a measure of someone’s personality and human functioning, where the goal is for people to project their personality unconsciously onto vague stimuli (University of Mary Washington, 2012). Both the Rorschach and the TAT are widely used as well…

    • 961 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tit for Tat

    • 380 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Tit For Tat Long time ago there lived a merchant named Garib Dass. He lived in a town .He was very rich but unluckily, he fell on bad days, so much so that he became on bankrupt. His business failed and theft accrued in his house not only that, he had to sell his house to pay off the debts. Garib dass was in utter adversity. But some thing had to be done to cope with the adverse conditions. So he thought, “I must go to some other town and start some work. God may help me and I may prosper again…

    • 380 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Thematic

    • 1143 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Shauntae Parker Religion 201 Professor Morehouse May 20, 2012 Thematic Essay: Sin Sin is defined as being rebellious against God (Deuteronomy 9:7 KJV) and defiance of the Law of God (1 John 3:4 KJV). There many instances of sin and changes in the meaning of sin within The Old and New Testament. Sin can be perceived in many different ways, an act punishable by death, a trait that has been inherited by Adam and ultimately, a way to repent from our sins, just to name a few. First, throughout…

    • 1143 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Thematic

    • 1780 Words
    • 8 Pages

    THEMATIC UNIT GUIDELINES Elementary PTEP – EDEL 470 / 490 – Block II Thematic Units should: • Have an attractive and informative “Title Page” and "Table of Contents". Expectations for these and all other unit components are described below under “Thematic Unit Components”. Also, be sure to review the "Thematic Unit Assessment Rubric". Do not use 3-ring binders or plastic sleeves please. • Integrate no more than three subject areas for which there are relevant content standards…

    • 1780 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Ppt of Tat Steel

    • 841 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Tata Steel Limited Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited, abbreviated as TISCO is an Indian multinational steel-making company headquartered in Mumbai and a subsidiary of the Tata Group. Its marketing headquarter is located at Tata Centre in Kolkata, West Bengal. It is the twelfth-largest steel producing company in the world Tata Steel is a multinational corporation with operations in numerous countries. Its largest plant is located in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. Price Pricing Strategy: A pricing strategy…

    • 841 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays