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The Rorschach inkblot test was created in 1921 by a Swiss Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach. The idea of the Rorschach inkblots derives from the game called Klecksographie, which implies collecting cards, making associations and coming up with stories based on the inkblot cards of the game. The test’s initial purpose was to serve as a tool for the diagnosis of schizophrenia, as while study trainings in 1918, Rorschach noticed the radical difference in responses between normal people and those patients diagnosed with mental disorder. However, since 1939, the test started to be widely used as a projective test of personality.
How does it work? The test itself is a set of 10 official inkblots, which are white cards of black, black and red and multicolored inks, each containing a mirror image picture.
The procedure of the test is simple. Nevertheless, part of results’ evaluation is quite complex. The test involves an administrator (an examiner) and a subject (a person from the age of 5). On the first stage of the test, the examiner asks the subject to make free association phases to each inkblot. After that, the tester presents the cards once more asking the subject to describe where and what the subject sees and what makes him or her give a certain response. The second phase of the test is very important, as the recorded responses will help the administrator to interpret the results according to the content (whether the subject sees a human, an animal, an abstract, fire, x-ray or any other content); location (on which part of the inkblot the subject saw the image) and determinants (form, color, movement, shading, which contributed to the subject’s responses).
Though this test is successfully used to interpret a profile of any personality, is advised to be used in court-ordered evaluations and is good at detecting a person’s disposition to suicide, there are still lots of disputes around this controversial psychological test.
The reason why many psychologists are skeptical towards the test of Rorschach is that the test projects not only the subject’s unconscious world but the examiner’s too. Secondly, this test has been criticized for its unreliability and invalidity as there is no guaranty in the same interpreting of personality profile by two different testers as well as no unitary accuracy that would measure a personality.
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