Analysis of Projective Tests in Psychology Essay

Analysis of Projective Tests in Psychology Essay

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Projective tests have captivated the attention of people around the world as they are commonly depicted as fascinating methods of assessing the mystery behind an individual’s personality. Projective tests are based on the idea that “when presented with a vague, unstructured, or ambiguous stimulus or task” an individual “will reflect aspects of the personality [sic] that might be otherwise unavailable to consciousness or for assessment” (Halperin & McKay, 1998). These tests started garnering attention in the early 1900’s when there was an increased emphasis placed on the understanding of personality and how behavior occurs when the patient is unaware (Butcher, 2010). The majority of projective tests, of which there are many, can be grouped into one of the following categories: drawings, inkblot techniques, and verbal/storytelling techniques (Halperin & McKay, 1998). Projective drawings are one of the more frequently used assessment devices, but there is still a considerable amount of controversy surrounding its validity. This paper will explore the use of projective tests in evaluating personalities and its overall effectiveness as a psychological test.
House-Tree-Person Test
One of the most commonly used projective tests with children is the House-Tree-Person test in which a child is instructed to draw a house, a tree and a whole person on a blank piece of paper. The drawings are then evaluated by psychologists in order to determine the personality of the child based on its interpretation of the task.
When the House-Tree-Person (HTP) test is used, there is no set script to instruct the child on what to draw and if different key words are used by the experimenter, it can create confusion in the child and add...

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indicators of self‐esteem: A quantitative approach. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 54(2), 219-222.
Meyer, G. J. (1997). On the integration of personality assessment methods: The Rorschach and
MMPI. Journal of Personality Assessment, 68, 297–330.
Vane, J. R. (1981). The thematic apperception test: A review. Clinical Psychology Review, 1(3),
West, M. M. (1998). Meta‐analysis of studies assessing the efficacy of projective techniques in
discriminating child sexual abuse Child Abuse & Neglect, 22, 1151.
Weiner, I. B. (1996). Some Observations on the Validity of the Rorschach Inkblot Method
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