What is a Rorschach test?

The Rorschach test is a diagnostic procedure from psychoanalysis that explores the subconscious of patients. The method named after the Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) is a projective personality test for the measurement of intelligence, human attitudes, mood and affectivity (emotional responsiveness). The method is based on the shape interpretation of ink blob images. The psychologist tries to create a personality profile of the subject based on the associations and interpretations mentioned.

Meaning and interpretation of the Rorschach tablets

At the beginning of the Rorschach test, the patient is presented with a series of symmetrical inkblot images on so-called Rorschach tablets. The patient should explain what first comes to his mind when viewing the submitted image material. The answers are then evaluated according to form, color, localization, originality and creativity.

There is neither a "right" nor a "wrong" answer to this form interpretation. All that matters is the patient's interpretation of the images. The interpretation of this data is an extremely complicated process and requires a lot of experience and training.

In a next step, the subject should take each Rorschach board individually and inspect each board for itself. The blob images may be rotated and turned as desired. By the way, the psychologist asks questions like "what do you see here?" Or "what could that be?". The patient's job is to describe what he thinks he recognizes in the inkblot image. He should also explain to which part of the inkblot refers to the respective mental link. In addition, the psychologist notes interpretation, handling (rotation) of the panel, and patient response times.

The evaluation of the Rorschach test

Based on his notes, the doctor can now evaluate the Rorschach test. He negotiates the following points and questions according to defined guidelines:

  1. Type of recording: Are full, half or only detailed figures recorded?
  2. Experience quality: Are shades, contrasts, colors perceived?
  3. Content: Are animals, people, plants, etc. seen?
  4. Originality: Are the answers vulgar, adapted, original?

The Rorschach test can be used to analyze the memory and sensation of the patient, who have predominantly anchored themselves in the subconscious. In addition, the interpretation of the form of the Rorschach images allows conclusions to be drawn to desires, wishes, fears and thus also to the personality of the subject.

Since there is room for interpretation in the interpretation of the results, the test is still heavily debated, but is nevertheless recognized in its use. However, it is not used as a sole test to capture personality, but in conjunction with other standardized testing procedures.

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