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Rorschach: General info

-Underlying assumption is that people perceive their environments according to their defensive functioning, affect, and cognitive processes
-Projective Hypothesis: Patient construes meaning onto ambiguous stimuli, stimuli from the environment are organized by the person’s specific needs, motives, and conflicts, and certain perceptual sets, this need for organization becomes more exaggerated and pronounced when confronted with ambiguous stimuli, the person is forced to draw upon personal internal images, ideas, and relationship to give response (Groth-Marnat, 2009)
-Goal of test is to asses client’s structure of personality with emphasis on understanding the UCS manner in which he responds to and organizes the environment
-provides information about ability for reality testing, relatedness to others, perceptions of self and other affect, coping styles and abilities, and defensive functioning


Pros of using Rorschach

-simplicity of handling and administering
-ability to bypass conscious resistance
-potential wealth of information, resistance to faking, cuts thru defenses


Cons of using the Rorschach

-moderate and variable reliability and validity
-previous lack of standardization and single scoring system- develop of Exner's system has attempted to correct
-time required for scoring and interpretation, need extensive training to administer test
-limited use with children
-complex and open to the introduction of error due to complexity


3 general areas in which responses are scored:

-location: area of the blot they focused on
-determinants: what properties of the blot used in making their responses
-content: what class of objects the response belongs to (human, animal, fire, etc)


Location (Rorschach)

how they approach the world


Space (Rorschach)

complex thinking
agreeableness vs. oppositionality


Z score (Rorschach)

ability to analyze


Form Quality (Rorschach)

idiosyncratic and distorted (reality/orientation to the world)


Popular (Rorschach)

average is 6
-tend to see the world as other people generally see it, seeing things in conventional ways


Color (Rorschach)

affect regulation, increased in poorly controlled and disorganized affect


Texture (Rorschach)

interpersonal closeness, intimacy needs; high = need for closeness; low = need for distance


Human movement (Rorschach)

mature ability to process experiences (low in depression); R-PAS: psychological resources and adaptive capacity (with color) and one's imagination to elaborate human experiences or activities (human = good)


Animal Movement (Rorschach)

potential for impulsivity in thinking, affect, and behavior; as stress tolerance and control diminished, less mature ability to process


Inanimate movement (Rorschach)

many experiences as being perceived as out of one's control


Passive and active movement (Rorschach)

passive character traits


Y (Rorschach)

diffuse shading, generalized free floating anxiety


C' (Rorschach)

achromatic color, painful internalized feelings, constricted


V (Rorschach)

vista, painful introspection


FR (Rorschach)

reflection, narcissism, egocentricity in mania


D and adj D (rorschach)

situational vs. chronic stress


Murray's (1943) Needs and Presses Scoring of TAT

-Approach to scoring is the original
-Assessing which character is the story’s hero/focal figure, the expressed needs, the forces of the hero’s environment, the types of outcomes, the basic themes, and the interests, sentiments of the hero
-This is based on Murray’s theory of personality which emphasizes the biological basis as well as the social and environmental determinants of behavior, interaction includes how people are affected by external forces and how their unique set of needs, attitudes, and values influence their reaction to the world around them
-Examines needs (internal forces) and presses (external forces)
-Most frequently used scoring system
-Focuses on hero’s expressed needs, environmental forces, types of outcomes, basic themes, and interests/sentiments


Pros of TAT

-7th most used test
-offers access to covert and deeper structures of an individual’s personality, lends to a rich interpersonal and personal description
-less susceptibility to faking
-lends to ease of rapport, non-threatening, no wrong answers
-may be a better test for children as less threatening and Rorschach is more cognitive and less empirical


Cons of TAT

-Hard to establish internal consistency and test-retest reliability
-There is inadequate normative data
-Standardization in administration and scoring is generally lacking
-Very susceptible to situational variables such as mood, sleep deprivation, etc.
-Uses subjective data
-Taps into person’s fantasies, which might not necessarily reflect behavior


Goodenough Draw a Person (DAP) (1926)

qualitative indices for visual perceptual functioning in children, hypothesis generation about self, gender, overall adjustment level, relationships, conflicts, affect
-Good sense of self and other representations
-Draw person, then draw opp gender, maybe a family
-Reliability and validity difficult to establish because of fluctuating conditions of administration and the assumptions behind the procedure are difficult to prove


Pros of DAP

-Easy to administer
-Good for generating hypotheses about:
-Self concept, ego ideal, perceptions of people of the opposite sex, global level of functioning, adjustment, impulsiveness, anxiety, affect, contact with reality, conflict areas, sexuality, body concerns
-Good for establishing rapport
-Since responses are supposed to depend on the person’s organizing abilities, the drawing theoretically provides an index of the nature and quality of these processes
-Qualitative indices for visual perception function
-Can be used to pick-up on schizophrenic presentation (Jaynes, 1976)


Cons of DAP

-Not empirically validated
-No standard scoring
-Prone to interpreter bias
Chapman and Chapman (1969), in a classic study of illusory correlation, showed that the scoring manual, e.g., large eyes as indicative of paranoia, could be generated from the naive beliefs of undergraduates.


Child Apperception Test (CAT) (Bellack, 1954, 1986)

Ages 3-10
Evaluate children's personality with the Children's Apperception Test (CAT), a downward extension of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). CAT measures aspects of personality, including level of reality testing and judgment, control and regulation of drives, and degree of autonomy. Composed of 10 drawings of animals, the test is based on the theory that children identify more readily with animal figures than human figures.


House-Tree-Person (HTP) (Buck, 1948, 1969)

-The HTP can be given to anyone over the age of three. Because it requires test takers to draw pictures, it is often used with children and adolescents. It is also often used with individuals suspected of having brain damage or other neurological impairment.
-During the first phase of the test, test takers are asked to use a crayon to draw pictures, respectively, of a house, a tree, and a person. Each drawing is done on a separate piece of paper and the test taker is asked to draw as accurately as possible. Upon completion of the drawings, test takers are asked questions about the drawings. There are a total of 60 questions that examiners can ask. Examiners can also create their own questions or ask unscripted follow-up questions. For example, with reference to the house, the test creator wrote questions such as, "Is it a happy house?" and "What is the house made of?" Regarding the tree, questions include, "About how old is that tree?" and "Is the tree alive?" Concerning the person, questions include, "Is that person happy?" and "How does that person feel?"


R-PAS (Meyer et al., 2011) variables

-Administration Behaviors and Observations
-Engagement and Cognitive Processing
-Perception and Thinking
-Stress and Distress
-Self and Other Representations


R-PAS Administration and Behavioral Observations

1. Prompts: possibly reflects limited ability or lack of motivation (cognitive or emotional deficits)
2. Pulls- hypomania, ADHD, frontal lobe damage, achievement striving, obsessiveness
3. Response Number: low responses = cognitive deficits, emotional difficulties, interpersonal dynamics, testing situation... high responses = disinhibition due to emotional or cognitive reasons, achievement striving, interpersonal dynamics


R-PAS: Engagement and Cognitive Processing definition

individual's complexity, productivity, and psychological resources


R-PAS Engagement and Cognitive Processing variables

1. Complexity
2. Responses (number)
3. Human Movement and weighted colors
4. Synthesis




measure of cognitive processing and coping; integrative cognitive activity and/or relational thinking; integration of multiple parts into a whole




differentiation and integration and productivity
-High complexity: often indicative of psychological strength
-Low complexity: indicative of cognitive or coping deficits or emotional factors such as anxiety, depression, and trauma, defensiveness, lack of engagement in assessment


R-PAS: Perception and Thinking definition

problems and thinking, judgment, or perception
-extreme relation to scores on this construct and schizophrenia or psychoticism


Ego Impairment Index


broad measure of thinking disturbance and severity of psychopathology

includes FQ, cognitive codes, critical content scores, and M-, GHE, and PHR


R-PAS: Stress and Distress Definition

variables that have some relationship with stress and distress


R-PAS Perception and Thinking variables

1. Ego Impairment Index
2. FQ
3. Popular


R-PAS Stress and Distress variables

1. Suicide concerns
2. Inanimate movement/ Diffuse sharing
3. Morbid content


R-PAS Self and Other Representations definition

ways of understanding the self, others, and relationships as the foundations of interpersonal relatedness


R-PAS Self and Other Representations variables

1. ODL (dependent attitudes)
2. Space Reversal (oppositionality)
3. Human Representation (GHR/PHR) (how one understands others and the self
4. Aggressive Content (AGC) (concerns with aggression and power)
5. Vigilance Composite (guardedness, effortful cognition, sensitivity to cues of danger)
6. Cooperative movement. mutual autonomy of health (good and collaborative interpersonal interactions with others)