Major Movements in Psychology

Psychological Tests

What is the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)?

The TAT is another projective test, almost as well known as the Rorschach. The TAT was developed by Henry Murray in 1938. It consists of 20 cards with evocative and ambiguous drawings involving one or more people. Usually, only ten cards are administered at a time. Subjects are asked to tell a story about what is happening in the picture, what led up to it, and what will happen afterward. Subjects are also asked to say what the characters are thinking and feeling. Because the images are ambiguous, the subjects’ stories will reveal their personal ways of processing interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, the TAT has not had the benefit of a John Exner to develop a modern scoring system. Therefore, without a reliable and valid scoring system, the TAT can only be used qualitatively and only in conjunction with other scientifically supported tests.


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