A bear, a bat, a pair of legs, never a tiny king from a fairy tale
November 21, 2017 11:41 AM Subscribe
- But for the actual test – this is the sentence that Rorschachians always repeat – ‘what matters isn’t what you see, but how you see.’ A few ‘content’ answers would later come to be thought significant: ‘food responses’ indicate that a person is ‘unusually dependent’ in relationships; a lot of sexual responses point to schizophrenia. But of more importance is whether an answer is judged to have ‘good form’ – ‘whether it could reasonably be said to describe the actual shape of the blot’ – as determined by Rorschach’s own sense of things, and also by responses from other ‘normal subjects’; he doesn’t say how he determined that those subjects were normal.
- [I]n the 1980s, a group of psychologists found that 80 per cent of ‘normal individuals’ are found by the test to have ‘depression or serious character problems’. Another study: when the Rorschach was given to aviation students and hospitalised psychiatric patients, the test results couldn’t distinguish between the two groups. The US military lost interest in the Rorschach after too many recruits were screened out, though most American clinical psychology programmes continue to teach it, and Rorschach results are still presented as evidence in American courts, particularly in child custody evaluations, and in civil trials in which plaintiffs have to demonstrate that they’re suffering from emotional distress. Estimates vary, but probably at least a few million people worldwide will take the test this year
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