Essay about DuBois' Projective Test Research

Essay about DuBois' Projective Test Research

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Abram Kardiner was a Neo-Freudian, who studied the possibility of external influences on personality. This led Kardiner to his works dealing with societal institutions and its interrelationship. Kardiner divided social institutions into two categorizes: Primary and Secondary Institutions (Lecture).   Primary Institutions are composed of household organizations, childhood disciplines and subsistence. Secondary Institutions consist of schools/educational systems, religion,government and political organizations. Kardiner stated that these two categories of institutions held a causal relationship. He theorized that this relationship was cyclical, that Primary Institutions led to Secondary Institutions, which in turn fed the Primary Institutions(Lecture).
Kardiner's ideas about these institutions are highly generalized and presume uniformity throughout the society. Kardiner’s ideas had no explanatory value, and this circular model had no beginning or end(Lecture).
Cora  DuBois was an Anthropologist who studied at Columbia University.  After graduating she was sent to the island of Alor to research basic personality structure. During her eight-teen months of fieldwork she focused mainly on life histories and Psychological Projective Tests;  focusing on Rorschach Tests and Thematic Apperceptions Tests (Lecture).
Through DuBois’ research of life histories she saw many variations in personality. This realization was die impart to  interviewing  “marginal people”, or people within a culture that are lower in hierarchical status. This was impart due to the unavailability of interviewing individuals who are higher on the social scale. Through these interviews with “marginal people”,  she concluded that childhood disciplines were not th...


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...lysis, the results come from the interpretation of the person analyzing them, which is often biased and invalid (Bock 111-112).
DuBois' Projective Test research in Alor represents the problems Bock explains within the Projective Assumption (Bock 111). DuBois' conclusions overgeneralize the people of Alor as being emotionally void and leaves little open to other personality structures withing the society. DuBois tried to make the interpretation of data as bias-free as possible by not giving the background of the test subjects. She did not consider Psychoanalysis as its own culture or consider the the biases within the field. Also, she did not try to change the tests to make them culturally applicable to the people of Alor. Using this western test in a non-western society without changes will cause any data to be inaccurate and the interpretation irrelevant (Lecture).

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