The Rorschach Inkblot Test

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The Rorschach inkblot test is one of the most widely known psychological projective test of personality, and the most controversial. In general, projective tests are psychoanalytically based tools that assist clients to reveal their unconscious conflicts via responses towards ambiguous stimuli, and can also help psychologists to determine psychological disorders. Specifically, the Rorschach allows individuals to interpret a series of abstract inkblots based on their emotional and cognitive function, as well as interaction (Barlow & Durand, 2009).

Apparently it was Leonardo da Vinci the first who realized a possible similarity between inkblot responses and personality, as he had his students draw paintings while looking at ambiguous visual forms, and surprisingly each painter revealed personal traits in his figures. Next, Justinius Kerner's in 1857 claimed that some people make idiosyncratic or revealing interpretations and used inkblots as projective surfaces, and later on in 1896 Alfred Binet who proposed the idea of using inkblots to asses personality functioning and other investigators supported his proposition, and so Whipple published the first standardized inkblot set in 1910. Wayne Holtzman designed a similar inkblot test to correct the limitations of the Rorschach, and his technique includes 45 inkblots and demonstrates moderate inter-scorer reliability and predictive validity (Kaplan, & Saccuzzo, 2008).

The Rorschach test was introduced by the Swiss Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach, on whom the test is named after. Hermann was the first to use inkblot stimuli and responses as a diagnostic instrument, which was published in 1921 in his book “Psychodiagnostik.” Rorschach’s original study consi...

... middle of paper ... of a kaleidoscope, a tube of mirrors containing loose, colored objects and bits of glass that when light enters creates a colorful pattern that could resemble the test’s inkblots.

Finally, it’s up to each psychologist and his opinion whether to use it or not during a clinical diagnosis, but as most research supports one should not depend on it for reaching conclusions as it’s not a valid and reliable mean. Also whoever decides to use it should be responsible for administrating it in the most effective way, without being biased or guiding responses since nothing can be perceived as right or wrong. Clients should be notified that they can say whatever comes into their mind without fear of being judged, and psychologists should accept the fact that some responses can be meaningful and correlated with their diagnosis, and other information can be in-comprehensive.
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