Discuss the general characteristics of projective techniques. Explain what the Rorschach inkblots measure. Describe the comprehensive system of scoring Rorschach inkblots.
A projective test is a type of personality test in which the individual offers responses to ambiguous scenes, words or images. This type of test emerged from the psychoanalytic school of thought, which suggested that people have unconscious thoughts or urges. These projective tests were intended to uncover such unconscious desires that are hidden from conscious awareness (Hogan, 2007).
The Rorschach Inkblot Test
The Rorschach Inkblot was one of the first projective tests and continues to be one of the best-known. Developed by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach in 1921, the test consists of 10 different cards that depict an ambiguous inkblot. The participant is shown one card at a time and asked to describe what he or she sees in the image. The responses are recorded verbatim by the tester. Gestures, tone of voice and other reactions are also noted (Hogan, 2007). The results of the test can vary depending on which of the many existing scoring systems the examiner uses. Most examiners also assess responses based on the frequency of certain responses as given by previous test takers. Many psychologists interpret the test freely according to their subjective impressions, including their impression of the subject's demeanor while taking the test (cooperative, anxious, defensive, etc.). Such interpretations, especially when combined with clinical observation and knowledge of a