Major Movements in Psychology

Psychological Tests

What is the Rorschach inkblot test?

The Rorschach inkblot test is a well-known projective test. In fact, it was once so widely used that it was frequently portrayed in the popular media, often as a mysterious and somewhat menacing test that could magically see into people’s souls. The Rorschach consists of ten cards with images of inkblots, some in black-and-white and some with color. These blots were created by Herman Rorschach (1884–1922), who first published the test in 1922. Just as people see images in clouds, subjects see images in the inkblots and they are asked to identify and describe these images. The responses are then coded for their content and form, which are seen as reflective of the subject’s own mental processes. There are no set answers to this test; the subject must project his or her own thought processes onto the blot in order to make sense of it. The Rorschach is therefore called a projective test. Perhaps because Herman Rorschach originally developed his test with inpatient schizophrenics, this test is particularly sensitive to psychotic thought process.


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